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Yachting vs Conservationists in southwest England

By Sue Richards last modified Dec 16, 2010 01:48 PM

Published: 2010-12-16 13:48:19
Topics: Environment
Countries: United Kingdom

As reported by Sail-World Cruising

Anchoring where you will, that preciously guarded freedom of the cruising fraternity which has traditionally belonged to sailors, could be under threat more and more as yachting organisations clash with conservation groups.

The UK's Royal Yachting Association has entered the fray by announcing this week that it will not support the establishment of a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) in a bay in Dorset if it involves a restriction on anchoring.

Finding Sanctuary is a partnership project that aims to create a network of Marine Protected Areas around the coasts and seas of South West England, and has nominated various areas under consideration. The RYA said today it will not support the establishment of an MCZ in Studland Bay if it means anchoring will be banned in the area.

The statement comes in response to news that Finding Sanctuary was considering making a huge area around Studland Bay an MCZ.

If the bay were to gain MCZ status, it's possible certain restrictions could be placed on boating activity in the area, including anchoring.

"The RYA is in the process of working through the list of areas currently being discussed by Finding Sanctuary and providing specific comments on any objections we may have from a recreational boating perspective," the RYA announced.

"Included within this commentary will be our position that Studland Bay is a key anchorage on the south coast and that we could not support the establishment of an MCZ in Studland Bay if it included a blanket ban on anchoring."

More and more areas in the world have restrictions on anchoring, particularly in coral waters. Some destinations, like Bonaire in the Caribbean, have banned anchoring altogether, and instead place dozens of moorings in bays where sailors like to congregate.

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