New buoys could solve Studland anchoring row

Conservationists say eco-moorings could solve the problem of anchor chain damaging delicate eelgrass ‘meadows’ in areas around the UK that are set to become marine conservation zones.

The hi-tech mooring buoys rise and fall with the tide, taking up the slack to ensure that there is no damage to the seabead, as the yacht swings around the mooring with wind and current.

Neil Garrick-Maidment, director of The Seahorse Trust, who has been been investigating the wear and tear of seagrass at Studland Bay, Dorset, said: ‘We are looking for a compromise for everybody. A blanket ban on anchoring would be ridiculous.

‘There are quite a few types of eco-mooring. Some have an elasticated rope with a buoy on top (pictured above).’

Other options include anchoring 300m to the north of the seagrass area in clear sand, which, Mr Garrick-Maidment said, was better holding ground than matted grass.

For more on this story see the March issue of Yachting Monthly, which is on sale from today.

ym march 2011

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