BMAPA, The Crown Estate Publish Guidance for Marine Aggregate Extraction

The British Marine Aggregate Producers Association (BMAPA), the representative body for the marine aggregate sector, and The Crown Estate have jointly published a new good practice guidance for marine aggregate extraction operations in English waters.

Good Practice Guidance: Extraction by Dredging of Aggregates from England’s Seabed (2017) replaces Extraction by dredging from the English seabed: minerals planning guidance 1 (MMG1) originally published by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (now the Department for Communities & Local Government) in 2002, which was formally withdrawn by the Government on 8th September 2017.

Mark Russell, Executive Director of BMAPA, said: “Marine sand and gravel extraction plays an increasingly important role in meeting the nations need for construction aggregate, as well as supporting beach nourishment and land reclamation projects.”

Image source: BMAPA

“Over recent years, the planning, regulation, assessment and management of marine aggregate extraction have evolved significantly, while at the same time a wide range of voluntary good practice principles have been developed and adopted by industry to mitigate and manage the effects of its operations on both the wider environment and also other marine users.

“By ensuring our regulators and advisers were involved throughout its preparation, our new good practice guidance is able to provide a robust framework that will help shape the sustainable management of the marine aggregate industry for the next decade and beyond.”

Developed in consultation with Defra, the Marine Management Organisation, Natural England, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Historic England and The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), the new good practice guidance has been produced in response to a continuing need for a key reference document to help inform not only industry, but also policy makers, regulators and advisors.

Taking the original content of MMG1, the new guidance reflects modern practice in English waters, providing an overview of the marine aggregate industry and covering the planning, licensing, environmental assessment, monitoring, mitigation and management methods that are employed to protect the environment and other seabed interests and to ensure the sustainability of the industry.