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Strength from the depths

BMAPA sustainable development report

BMAPA publishes ninth annual sustainable development report for the British marine aggregate industry

THE British Marine Aggregate Producers Association (BMAPA) has published its ninth annual sustainable development (SD) report covering the year 2014.

The report builds upon the wider sustainable development initiative established by BMAPA’s parent organization, the Mineral Products Association (MPA), and follows on from the launch of the marine aggregate sector’s sustainable development strategy in October 2006.

Under this initiative, individual marine aggregate operators continue to report a wide range of data which, when combined, provide a comprehensive record of the sustainable development performance of the sector as a whole.

The fact that the ninth annual report captures data from 75% of all marine aggregate production activity that occurred in UK waters during 2014, reflects the importance that BMAPA members place on this initiative. 

According to the report, the encouraging signs of economic recovery observed during 2013 were maintained into 2014, with total marine aggregate production increasing by 7.6%.

In London and the South East, where one-third of GB construction activity takes place and where traditionally marine supplies provide one-third of all primary construction aggregate demand, landings increased by a healthy 13.8%.

Meanwhile, along the river Thames, marine landings increased by 21%, reflecting the scale of growth and development that is currently taking place in the capital.

The report highlights some key developments, including:

  • A total of 17.25 million tonnes dredged in 2014 – a 7.6% increase on 2013.
  • A re-licensing programme for historic marine aggregate production licence areas was successfully completed during 2014.
  • Despite overall production increasing, the area of seabed actually dredged during 2014 reduced further, as operators introduced more detailed zoning arrangements for newly licensed areas.
  • Industry successfully completed baseline surveys for a new Regional Seabed Monitoring Programme across five regions, with more than 3,500 seabed sediment samples collected. 

BMAPA director Mark Russell said: ‘Throughout the challenging economic conditions, the marine aggregate sector has maintained its commitment to transparently reporting its performance across a range of indicators. This report demonstrates the real-world impact of the current economic climate on an important industry sector that provides essential construction materials to support future growth, while at the same time highlighting the industry’s continuing steps and progress to improve and enhance its sustainable development credentials.’

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Comments

Submitted by David Levy (not verified) on

In this age of environmental consequences surely it is time for professional companies and their industry organisations to seriously consider alternative sources of aggregates. These out of sight aggregates are in fact habitats for seriously impaired stocks of many fish stocks. This is known. What is not known is the impact that dredging has on these fragile ecosystems. We do know that other dredging and trawling activities are harmful to fisheries, therefore draw your own conclusions. Enough to say to the rational thinker that alternatives can be sourced from land based quarry waste. The tests have conducted in Cardiff University were economically comparative to marine aggregates and met British Specification. The reason these waste quarry tips are not recycled is down to the economic infra structure these companies have invested into marine based sites and extraction equipment. In other words the industry control the direction of aggregate sourcing. That other countries have installed the technology into these alternatives are brushed away by the trade organisation without open debate.
As an conservationist I find this attitude is based in arrogance and in the knowledge that the regulator and responsible agencies fail in their role to assess the application EIAs.

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