Synthesis and Application of Information for Conservation

Management Relevant to Marine SACs

The management of a marine SAC site for which Zostera is a conservation feature presents a number of challenges and opportunities. As discused in the earlier chapters, to thrive, Zostera species require sheltered conditions, stable sediments, low turbidity, an absence of eutrophication (and other forms of pollution) and destructive physical disturbance, and healthy populations of epiphyte grazers. Where these requirements are not fulfilled, the Zostera species may experience environmental stress and become more susceptible to wasting disease.

These requirements are similar to those of many other species and biotopes selected as conservation features within UK marine SACs and are also logical objectives to which the management of SACs can aspire. Using these requirements as a guide, the challenge is for site managers and all others involved in SAC management to consider the current human activities, likely future development pressures and socio-economic and cultural requirements of the local communities, and to integrate these with the conservation requirements of the SAC. This can only be achieved through the establishment of an inclusive, co-operative and agreed management scheme that is based on a suite of realistic and achievable conservation objectives.

This chapter tries to bring together the major conclusions from the report and to present them in a way that is solution-oriented. The chapter first provides a general discussion of the cross-cutting management issues or themes that are relevant to most sites, and to our understanding of Zostera in general. The question of Zostera bed recovery is then addressed. This is put into a more specific context with a technical synopsis of the main findings from the preceding chapters with regard to the priority issues for Zostera in the UK. Finally, the chapter focuses on various management interventions at strategic and site levels that are relevant to the conservation of Zostera biotopes.

Sensitivity Perspectives and Key Trends

The Recoverability of Zostera Species

Zostera Mitigation Projects

Summary of the Management Issues Relating to Zostera Biotopes

Existing Management Initiatives