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Marine aggregates sector maintains commitment to transparency

Mark Russell

Eighth annual sustainable development report for the British marine aggregates industry published

THE British Marine Aggregate Producers Association (BMAPA) has published its eighth annual Sustainable Development (SD) report covering the year 2013, building upon the wider sustainable development initiative established by the Association’s parent organization, the Mineral Products Association.

The publication of BMAPA’s eighth SD Report follows the launch of the sector’s sustainable development strategy in October 2006. Under this initiative, individual marine aggregates operators continue to report a wide range of data which, when combined, provides a comprehensive record of the sustainable development performance of the sector as a whole.

BMAPA says the fact that the eighth annual report captures data from 83% of all marine aggregate production activity that occurred in UK waters during 2013, reflects the importance that its members place on this initiative.

Although overall marine aggregate production during 2013 remained depressed, with a 4.7% reduction compared with 2012, there were signs of recovery in the home markets of England and Wales where marine landings increased by just over 5%.

This was consistent with the performance of the wider aggregates market in Great Britain, and in the marine sector’s key markets of London and south-east England the performance was even more promising. As a result, there is growing optimism that the economic tide in Britain may finally be turning.

The SD report highlights some key developments, including:

  • The area of seabed licensed for dredging increased by 3.9% to 739 square kilometres, as new marine licences were issued for historic production areas
  • New best practice introduced to support resource management and compliance with licence conditions
  • Marine aggregate operators continue to provide high-resolution survey data in support of the development of Marine Conservation Zones
  • Industry funds the development of a new Regional Seabed Monitoring Programme in partnership with DEFRA, the Marine Management Organisation and The Crown Estate.

BMAPA director Mark Russell (pictured) said: ‘Despite the challenging economic conditions, the marine aggregates sector has maintained its commitment to transparently reporting its performance across a range of indicators.

‘Not only does this report demonstrate the continuing real-world impact of the current economic climate on an important industry sector that provides essential construction materials to support future growth, but it also illustrates the industry’s continuing steps and progress to improve and enhance its sustainable development credentials.’

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