ANNOUNCEMENT ON PORT OF FALMOUTH DEVELOPMENT – Fishupdate.com

ANNOUNCEMENT ON PORT OF FALMOUTH DEVELOPMENT Published:  27 January, 2011

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) today (Thursday 27 January) announced it is not allowing the application for the Port of Falmouth development initiative to proceed in its current form.

The application to amalgamate the Queens and Northern wharves was approved. A full assessment of relevant evidence in relation to a further two applications showed the proposed works would have a negative impact on the maerl beds within a significant site protected by European law.  Discussions are continuing with the developers on these two applications.

Maerl – a hard, red algae that only exists in a handful of areas around our coast – can take up to 8,000 years to form. It also acts as a nursery for commercial fish stocks, helping to promote a long-term future for our fishing industry.

Although recognising the economic benefits the initiative offers, the MMO found that the proposals did not meet the requirements of the EC Habitats Directive, as the proposed works fall within a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

James Cross, Acting Chief Executive of the MMO, said: “We have met with the developers today, and invited them to come back to us with new proposals that address the environmental issues.

“We welcome further discussion on alternative options to help meet the needs of industry while recognising the importance of vulnerable habitats.

 “Our job is to ensure our seas are clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse, and our assessment is based on all the available evidence, which is publicly available on our website.

“This announcement ensures protection of the ancient and rare maerl beds – considered a non-renewable resource that cannot be lost.”

The evidence can be found at www.marinemanagement.org.uk/works/falmouth.htm

For further information please contact the MMO press office on 0191 376 2777.