2021 drawn in the sand on a beach 2021 drawn in the sand on a beach

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Our top 5 articles of 2021

From the ballast water regulations to the implications of Brexit on fisheries, here are our top 5 most read articles of 2021.

5. ABPmer to develop marine recreation activity maps to help decision-making

To ensure the conservation objectives of England's Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are met, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) wanted to better understand the location and intensity of non-licensable (recreational) activities, to inform assessments and management decisions.

Whilst previous studies had indicated which type of recreational activities were occurring within MPAs, they were often not well described, either in terms of their location or intensity in time and space. This in turn made it difficult to consider their potential impacts on protected conservation features and identify where management may be required.

To support MPA site-level assessments and inform management decision-making, the MMO commissioned ABPmer to provide detailed insight into marine recreational activities occurring in those MPAs that have features most at risk from such activities.


4. Implementing the BWM Convention in the UK

The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWM Convention) was adopted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in 2004 and came into effect in 2017. It aims to control and monitor the discharge of ballast water and sediments from ships, to prevent the spread of non-native species and pathogens, by requiring ballast water exchange and ballast water treatment.

The Convention has a phased approach, with vessels expected to exchange ballast water until they are able to comply with the ballast water treatment requirements. All vessels must be compliant with ballast water treatment rules by 2024.

ABPmer's Vicky West considered the likely impacts on ports and harbours in meeting the Convention.


3. Solving the problem of derelict vessels

A derelict vessel is any abandoned ship or craft that has since become a nuisance, either through neglect, full or partial submergence, drifting or grounding. Such vessels can impact the safety of navigation, public health and the environment (including visually), so require management.

As the number of derelict vessels continues to increase, there is rising pressure on authorities to respond. In this article we explored the issues associated with derelict vessels and outline our thoughts on improving their management.


2. White Paper: Blue Carbon in Managed Realignments

For more than two decades, there has been growing recognition about the role that coastal habitats (especially marshes, seagrass and mangroves) can play in trapping and storing ‘blue’ carbon. Today, the level of interest in, and advocacy for, this subject is huge.

To contribute to ongoing discussions in this field, Colin Scott, ABPmer habitat creation and restoration specialist, prepared a White Paper summarising what we know about the Blue Carbon value of managed realignment of coastal defences.


1. White Paper: EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement – Thoughts on fisheries from a UK perspective

At the eleventh hour, the EU and UK agreed a deal to govern relations between the two parties when the Brexit transition period ended on 31 December 2020.

Throughout the Brexit Referendum campaign, and all the ups and downs of negotiating the withdrawal agreement and subsequent deal, fisheries had a high profile.

Suzannah Walmsley, ABPmer commercial fisheries specialist, considered what the draft EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) mean for fisheries.

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