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Devon Maritime Forum – June/July newsletter

  • by JW

There are also special features on COVID-19, the Benyon Review of Highly Protected Marine Areas, Smart Ports, 5 litre Challenge, and finding plastic via satellites.


Here’s the latest news from the DMF:

Another heatwave on the horizon. Check out the latest Devon Maritime Forum newsletter… 

This month’s newsletter features your usual roundup of local and national stories, key marine research and reports and information on consultations you can get involved with. There are also special features on COVID-19, the Benyon Review of Highly Protected Marine Areas, Smart Ports, 5 litre Challenge, and finding plastic via satellites. Read on to find out more…

Covid-19 News

‘More masks than jellyfish’: coronavirus waste ends up in ocean – A glut of discarded single-use masks and gloves is washing up on shorelines and littering the seabed more

Coronavirus updates for the seafood industry – COVID-19 is affecting our lives and businesses in ways none of us have ever experienced before more

Group to measure for coronavirus prevalence in waste water  New working group includes a range of water companies and experts across the UK more

Coronavirus: UK has legal duty to review air pollution targets, say lawyers  Letter cites growing evidence of link between dirty air and COVID-19 infections and deaths more

(c) Paul Naylor

Review into Highly Protected Marine Areas

The Benyon review of Highly Protected Marine Areas was published on World Oceans Day (8th June) by an independent panel of members from academia, industry and conservation backgrounds and chaired by former MP and Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon.

Forty percent of England’s seas are designated as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). However, the government’s Marine Strategy assessment shows that the environment is not in a healthy state. This Review asks whether areas with higher levels of protection can enable a greater recovery of the marine ecosystem.

This Review answers the following questions:

  • What are Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) and should they be part of marine management?
  • What opportunities and challenges do HPMAs create?
  • How should government select HPMAs?
  • How will HPMAs work?
  • How should pilot HPMAs be selected?

Read the full report here

Local News

Exeter and Plymouth Universities play major role in a ground breaking project to create the UK’s first sea going, electric passenger vessel – A consortium of engineering experts and businesses from across the West Country are collaborating on the ground breaking project  more

Exeter joins new European initiative to turn wastewater into valuable resource – Experts from both Exeter’s engineering department and the Business School will collaborate with researchers from across Europe more

Council tells people to stay off beach at Sidmouth after five cliff falls in one month – “The cliffs pose a very real danger – landslides are unpredictable events, occurring without warning, and can cause serious injury or death” more

Fish and Ships – integrating heritage with habitat surveys off the Isles of ScillyHeritage consultancy Fjord Ltd worked with the Isles of Scilly Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) and marine ecologists from the University of Plymouth more

Funding boost confirmed for Lower Otter Restoration Project – The Lower Otter Restoration Project has been awarded around £8.5 million as part of Project PACCo more
Tidelines – our changing estuary

Tidelines is a new project working with citizens of the Exe estuary and bringing together arts, science, local knowledge and academic research in creative ways to learn more about our estuary home, how it works, what makes it unique and how it is changing.

Working with Exeter University and other partners in the region, local residents Anne-Marie Culhane and Jo Salter are designing a series of events which inform and inspire through talks, walks, discussions and participatory activities – creating spaces where researchers and members of the public can meet and work together to generate or co-develop research questions.

Visit the Tidelines website for more information

Demand for tap water has rocketed – use less and save more for everyone this summer.We have plenty of raw water stored but demand is rocketing and there’s only so much tap water we can treat and pump to your homes, schools and hospitals. Currently the high levels in demand is putting a strain on the network and unfortunately during peak times some customers are experiencing low pressure. We need your help to reduce demand and keep the network flowing for everyone.

Could you save 5 litres of tap water a day?

We can’t do it alone. We need everyone to play their part – small changes in water use make a big difference when multiplied by our 1.8 million customers. If every one of our customers saved 5 litres of tap water a day, that would save nearly 10 million litres. From quicker showers, changes in flushing habits to being smarter with water in the garden – whatever your lifestyle there are lots of  simple things you can do to save water.

Visit the South West Water website for more information

National & International News

Five things you need to know about the state of the worlds fish – The UN’s #Sofia2020 report shows what works when it comes to fishing the oceans sustainability more

How well can we predict the future Fish of the Day? – An international team of modellers and researchers have collaborated to find out how reliable projections of today’s fisheries forecasting models are in the North-East Atlantic more

One billion people will live in insufferable heat within 50 years – Humans cost of climate crisis will hit harder and sooner than previously believed, research reveals more

Latest rod licence figures show increase as restrictions lifted – Over quarter of a million fishing licenses sold after lockdown restrictions lifted more

Blue spaces for healthy and resilient cities – Waterways like rivers, canals and coastlines are important assets for many cities. Waterways may be advantageous for tourism, trade or as a part of the cultural identity of a city more

Observing marine wildlife safely – As the weather gets warmer and people begin to spend more time outside, there are opportunities to enjoy some of the amazing marine wildlife around the coast more

Finding plastic patches in coastal waters using optical satellite data
Check out this video from Plymouth Marine Laboratory which describes the work involved with developing a new technique to detect aggregations of plastic on the Ocean using satellites.Visit the Plymouth Marine Laboratory website for more information

Research and Reports

International fishery and aquaculture research project synthesis report (Plymouth Marine Laboratory)

Are we underestimating microplastics in the marine environment (Plymouth Marine Laboratory)

Assessing the effects of banana pingers as a bycatch mitigation device for harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) (University of Exeter)

Climate change drives summer nutrient decrease and reduces productivity on the NE Atlantic continental shelf (University of Plymouth et al)

Greening of grey infrastructure should not be used as a Trojan horse to facilitate coastal development (University of Plymouth)

Oldest relative of ragworms and earthworms discovered (University of Exeter)

Good News Story

(c) Jermey Richards – Skipper

Deer rescued from sea by fisherman off Cornwall

A deer has been pulled from the sea off Cornwall by a passing fisherman.
The roe deer managed to get itself in to trouble about a mile off the shore of Porthleven.
Skipper Jeremy Richards, who said he believed the animal had fallen from nearby cliffs, came to the rescue when he spotted a seal slowly moving in on the bewildered animal more

Consultations & Funding

Environment Agency Challenges and Choices (September 2020)

DEFRA UK Seafood Innovation Fund 

Sea-Changers Various grants for charities and not-for-profit organisations

Marine Management Organisation (MMO) Maritime and Fisheries Fund (MFF)


Smart Ports – 9 of the most frequently asked questions

As digitalisation continues to develop and both ports and terminals consider additional ways to build flexibility and resilience into their operations, we have taken a closer look at some of the key questions that are rising in the industry, particularly with regard to technology.

Visit the Royal HaskoningDHV website for the full FAQ’s


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