In order to avoid, minimise and address potential
environmental impacts arising from their operations,
ports and harbours operating within or near marine
- Prepare contracts which meet the requirements
of all licenses, consents and agreements applicable.
- Fully brief contractors prior to the commencement
of dredging and disposal works. Contractor method
statements for operations should be agreed by
the port or harbour before the works are allowed
to proceed. Consideration should be given to:
- hydrodynamic conditions at the excavation and
- marine features for which the site was designated,
if appropriate areas which are particularly sensitive
to the effects of dredging at specific times of
- particular areas of the dredging and disposal
operations where contractor error can cause adverse
effects on marine features.
- Endeavour to regularly monitor the operations
of the contractor during dredging and disposal
- Ensure that dredging is undertaken in a manner
that limits, as far as practically possible, the
disturbance and dispersion of sediments from the
dredger and barges, during dredging operations
- Consider timing of operation to avoid or minimise
environmental effects. Seek guidance from local
country conservation agencies, and other environmental
agencies where relevant, on the identification
of the most appropriate times to undertake dredging
to avoid or minimise disturbance to marine habitats,
particularly sensitive animals, such as shellfish,
young and migratory fish and over wintering waterfowl.
But common sense must be applied and full consideration
given to seasonal operational constraints.
- Ensure that the most suitable dredging equipment
(BATNEEC) is used in order to minimise the suspension
of any fine sediments and contaminants at the
dredge site, where considered appropriate.
- Consider investigating practical means of reducing
the amounts of material dredged, where possible.
- Use the best practicable environmental option
for the disposal of dredged material, promoting
its beneficial use or disposal within the sedimentary
system wherever practical.
- Investigate the
possibility of using dredged material for intertidal
recharge schemes to combat erosion of intertidal
habitats caused by coastal squeeze and rising
sea levels. Seeking advice from country conservation
agencies, licensing authorities and the environment
agencies who will take a long-term view of such
proposals and localised short-term damage will
be accepted where there are long-term benefits,
in terms of sustainable management of broader
areas of intertidal habitats.
- Consider establishing post dredge monitoring
programmes to verify the effect of dredging and
disposal on marine ecology and sediment regimes,
where MAFF have identified potentially sensitive
features to be monitored if considered necessary.
- Endeavour to keep organised, up-todate
records of dredging operations, incorporating
data from regular hydrographic surveys, which
may have the following benefits:
- the need to dredge, or otherwise, can be clearly
- the possible identification of areas within
ports and harbours where dredging can be reduced,
or not undertaken at all, and
- the collation of this information eases the
path to the renewal of dredging licences.
- Consider carefully the proposal of dredging
methods in the port or harbour which are not presently
regulated under the FEPA licensing process, such
as water injection dredging, sea bed levelling
and agitation dredging, and where practical, undertake
the above recommendations to minimise the potential
impacts. Furthermore, ports and harbours should
consider consulting the country conservation agencies
when these types of dredging are proposed within
the port area to ensure that nature conservation
considerations are taken into account.
- Feed all available data back into SAC management