Advanced Mooring Systems Challenge Network Update
Author: Amanda Goodwin
On 19th November 2019, at The Old Bakery Studio in Truro, we convened the second meeting of Tevi’s Advanced Moorings Challenge Network.
Seventy people from across 50+ organisations attended the workshop to discuss how to accelerate the uptake of Advanced Mooring Systems (AMS) in CIoS. The aim of this Challenge Network is to support the reestablishment of seagrass meadows by replacing conventional moorings that scour the seabed with solutions that minimise the mooring’s environmental impact, while still delivering essential mooring performance in terms of vessel security.
Presentations were given by Phil Horton of The RYA, Joshua Baker of Ocean Conservation Trust and Chris Pollard of Tradewind Navigation, covering why AMS are important both from a performance angle as well as from the point of view of the marine environment and ecology. Their presentations are available at the bottom of this blog.
Seagrasses, particularly eelgrass, are an important part of the marine ecosystem and provide a range of ecosystem services. They are a nursery ground for commercial fish species, a haven for threatened and protected species, a coastal defence and a significant carbon sink – in fact they sequester and store more carbon per unit area than terrestrial forests.
Despite their provision of crucial ecosystem services it has been estimated that in the UK we’ve destroyed 92% of our seagrasses since the 1930s. This equates to 10.6 MT of stored carbon – worth a carbon trading value of £275million – as well as loss of habitat, food source and shelter. AMS (which come in a variety of designs) lift the riser section of the mooring system off the seabed, thus allowing for the regrowth of seagrasses.
Over the course of the workshops and presentations attendees came to an agreement on the environmental and performance benefits of AMS, but outlined concern regarding;
- Boat behaviour on the mooring particularly where there may be a mix of conventional and AMS moorings side by side.
- Cost of replacing existing systems verses being able to retrofit them
- Tethering performance of certain AMS designs within exposed areas
To respond to these concerns attendees suggested that it would be helpful if Tevi could support the installation of AMS across a variety of locations by:
- Identifying and bringing together a group of trial harbours and mooring service providers to participate in a trial
- Finding or providing financial support to cover the cost of AMS installation for these trials (hopefully through the Tevi grant fund).
In order to progress this Challenge Network the following next steps have been identified:
- Harbours, mooring service providers and consultants interested in participating in the trial scheme should contact Amanda ([email protected]) who will then set up a meeting for those that have expressed an interest to discuss the finer detail and how the Tevi grant fund may be able to support the project
- Exeter Marine and Tevi to explore whether conducting a literature review of existing research into AMS and behaviour of vessels on them is possible
- Tevi to work with Natural England to ensure alignment with the LIFE -REMEDIES project
- Tevi to gain clarity on insuring and licensing AMS with the MMO
- AMS design to be explored through Tevi to see whether a more intelligent design for floats could be done for the risers that is more secure and uses recycled materials
We’re thrilled with the enthusiasm for this topic and we look forward to continuing to work with all involved. Future workshops and meetings on this topic will be published on our events page here. If you have any questions or comments about the event please contact Amanda ([email protected]) who manages the Tevi Challenge Networks.