of sand and gravel exist on the seabed of the eastern English Channel.
Prospecting surveys by several marine aggregate operators in recent years
have shown that some of these deposits represent a viable aggregate resource.
As a result, five companies submitted a total of seven applications
for dredging permissions all of which have now been granted. Dredging began in the region in 2006.
The seven dredging permissions cover a total of approximately
100 square kilometres (39 square miles), which would be the maximum total
dredging area over 15 years. This represents approximately 0.35 per cent
of the total area of seabed in the region. You can view maps
of the licence areas.
The whole of the permitted dredging areas would not, however, be active at once. The industry
would manage the resource in consultation with fishermen and other stakeholders
and would divide each licence area into working zones, so greatly reducing
the impact at any time. Three months' notice would be given to fishermen
of any changes to these zones.