Independent experts commissioned by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency have produced a report looking at navigational risks in relation to oyster farm activity in the Whitstable area.
The report, which has been published on the Marine Management Organisation’s website, concludes that the farm’s operations are acceptable as a low risk to marine navigation. It recommends mitigation to reduce the risk even further, although acknowledging that the farm’s owners have already adopted this in some instances.
Assessing navigational risk
In response to questions from members of the public the MMO previously agreed to work with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Trinity House to assess how oyster racks in the area may affect local navigation and safety.
Marine licensing legislation
The MMO’s investigations under its marine licensing remit are still ongoing.
The MMO has a difficult task in managing competing uses of the marine area. It has previously explained its remit and the legislation it enforces relating to this development, specifically under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.
The MMO has committed to reviewing its guidance around marine licence exemptions to take into account learning from this issue.