Celebrations as Seagrass Friendly Eco-Mooring arrives at Fishcombe Cove

sea grass

Members of the Sea Torbay – Coastal Management Partnership had every reason to celebrate last week as they saw a new Eco friendly (Seagrass) mooring arrive at its new home at Fishcombe Cove.

The deployment, undertaken by local firm MTS, took less than two hours to complete and was watched over by representatives and partners from the various organisations and companies who have been involved in the project to date. It was an exciting moment when the mooring was dropped in place, as cheers were sent up from the watching party on the shore.

The eco mooring is different because the thicker chain at the concrete base on the sea bed is shorter than that on a regular mooring. As the surface buoy lowers with the tide the then slacker chain cannot reach beyond the edge of the concrete base. The remaining chain is thinner and is kept above the bed by a series of smaller buoys below the surface. It is the chain moving with the tide around the mooring on the sea bed that causes the damage.

Sea Torbay is a voluntary partnership made up of various stakeholders from the private, public and voluntary sectors, including Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, the Community Sea Grass project and Natural England all of whom were present to see this exciting moment.

Heather Carstens, Green Infrastructure Coordinator, Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust said:

“What a brilliant day, to see this mooring being deployed. This Eco-mooring trial has been funded through Natural England as part of a wider project to help offer management measures to the Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) here in the Bay. Many people have been involved in this project and have worked very hard for it to come to fruition.

“Now the mooring is in place, it will be monitored over the season and we will be engaging with local boat users to encourage use of the mooring, which will hopefully result in less anchoring over this sensitive, fragile but very important habitat’

The seagrass beds are a feature of the designated Marine Conservation Zone and are of particular ecological value. Seagrass beds are one of the most biodiverse habitats on Earth on par with coral reefs, but they’re one of the fastest declining too. They provide a nursery habitat for many commercially important species such as pollock, scallops and cuttle fish, and provide a home to the UK’s native seahorses. They also provide us with coastal protection and improve water quality. These fragile habitats are particularly sensitive to anchoring activity and unfortunately this can cause a lot of damage to the beds. The mooring will offer a safe management measure for these important habitats whilst still allowing boat users to enjoy the beauty and sanctuary of Fishcombe Cove.

Sea Torbay would like to thank all the members of the partnership for their support, involvement and in particular their hard work to enable this project to succeed.  As well as the following organisations for their support and involvement:

  • CSI (Community Seagrass Initiative)
  • Torbay Harbour
  • Salcombe Harbour
  • MTS (Marine & Towage Services, deployment)
  • Natural England (Support & Funding)
  • Dale Grant – (Dale Grant media – voluntary video)
  • Marine Management Organisation
  • Jake Letori (Graphic Design – Voluntary )
  • AC Print (Sticker production)
  • Bayside Marine (Equipment)

 

(Author)

Team account for We Are South Devon.