Posts Tagged ‘environment’

AONB – BIOSECURITY IN SOUTH HAMS’ RIVER ESTUARIES

The ACA has collaborated with the AONB Estuaries Partnership in producing a new biosecurity plan, available on the link below, to help stop the spread of marine non-native species in our South Hams estuaries..  Please read it and take note.

The risks of an invasive non-native species in the Avon are relatively low owing to the regular flushing of the estuary by freshwater but with increases in the number of people and craft using the estuary for recreational purposes, the danger is still present.  Please be vigilant and take any relevant precautions, as advised in the plan.

The effects of invasion by Spartina or cord grass in the Avon Estuary after artificial introduction by Man are all too evident in the steady accumulation of silt and mud.   Multiplication of the Pacific Oyster outside of the farmed racks in our estuary is prevented by limiting the externally-sourced juveniles to triploid (infertile) individuals.

See the full plan here:-

Salcombe Biosecurity Plan

Upper estuary improvement by Bantham Estate

Following the purchase by the Bantham Estate of Little Marsh, on the bridge at Aveton Gifford, we are pleased to point out the significant clearance of boat ‘junk’ and potential pollutants of the upper estuary from around the foreshore.

The ACA continues to work with the Estate  towards achieving a common understanding of the future for the estuary; a future that will conserve and improve the unspoilt character of this beautiful idyll.

RIVERFLY PROJECT

At the Avon Estuary Forum on 16th May 2017, John Roberts (Chair of the Devon Avon Fishing Association) presented a fascinating talk about the Riverfly Monitoring Project on the river.  Four stations are monitored : near Avonwick (Kerry Downs), Gara Bridge,  New Mill Bridge and Knapp Mill.  The results of these studies and other similar studies throughout the UK can be found at www.http://www.riverflies.org/riverflies-1 .  Local data indicate that water quality at the monitoring sites is generally good.

The substance of John’s talk can be found here – River Avon Riverfly Partnership

Beach watch data on marine litter collection (2016)

 

The full research report behind this summary is available on the Research Report page of this website.

MICROPLASTICS AND MARINE LITTER – TALK

Nigel Mortimer of the AONB has sent this message and link to a recent talk by Prof Richard Thompson.:-

During Science Week, earlier this year, I invited you to a couple of talks on plastics ‘The Good, the Bad & the Ugly’ kindly hosted by the Kingsbridge Community College.

Professor Richard Thompson from Plymouth University was one of the two excellent speakers, talking on “Marine Litter: are there solutions to this global environmental problem ?”

Professor Thompson gave a very similar talk to members of the Marine Biological Association last Friday and due to Global demand, the talk was recorded. If you’d like to watch it yourself, here is the link;

www.mba.ac.uk/2016/11/16/microplastics-talk-by-richard-thompson

Richard spoke to the ACA some years ago but his story about microplastics has moved on somewhat since then.  I attended the talk at Kingsbridge College referred to by Nigel and found it fascinating.   An outline is provided below.:-
Marine Litter is a global environmental problem with consequences for human health, the economy and wildlife.  This litter is pervasive throughout our oceans form the poles to the equator and from sea surface and shoreline to the deep sea. It is hazardous to seafarers resulting in unnecessary coastguard and rescue callouts and has substantial economic consequences for the local authorities responsible for clean-up. Perhaps most widely documented are encounters with wildlife which can result in direct harm and death. Well over 600 species of marine organisms are reported to encounter marine litter and the majority of these encounters are with plastic items.

However, marine litter is an environmental problem that can be solved. The majority of the items that become marine litter are single use disposable items including packaging and sewage related debris. Such items can bring considerable societal benefit, for example in terms of food security and light weighting to reduce fuel usage, however these benefits can all be realised without the need for any  emissions of litter to the ocean.  Hence the long term solutions lie in recognising that if designed, used and disposed of appropriately, then end-of-life items that currently accumulate in waste management facilities and as litter in the natural environment can be used as a resource for production of new products. Working toward a circular economy of this kind will help reduce our reliance on non-renewable resources and simultaneously reduce the quantity of waste requiring disposal.