In many cases, the area available to be dredged at any one time is restricted through zoning. This may be as a result of a licence condition or as voluntary initiatives by the operator. The value of such zoning lies in minimising the spatial footprint of marine aggregate dredging activity, which in turn can reduce the potential footprint of environmental impact, and reduces the potential for spatial impacts with other users of the sea. Zoning also allows operators to manage their resources more effectively.
The British Marine Aggregate Producers Association BMAPA, in conjunction with The Crown Estate, has undertaken to produce active dredge area charts for all dredging regions on a bi-annual basis. These charts provide a snapshot of the extent of active dredge areas on the 31st January and 31st July, with any changes to working areas highlighted in red. The charts are distributed to the fishing industry through the District offices of the Marine and Fisheries Agency. Courtesy of BMAPA, the latest versions can also be downloaded here.
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