The British Marine Aggregate Producers Association (BMAPA) and The Crown Estate have published their 19th annual 'Area Involved' report, which details changes in the extent of the seabed area licensed and dredged for marine aggregates during 2016.
The 'Area Involved' initiative commenced in March 1999, when BMAPA and The Crown Estate made a public statement of intent which committed both parties to reviewing all dredging licences on a rolling five-year basis, surrendering areas no longer containing economic resources of marine sand and gravel, and publishing an annual report detailing the extent of dredging activities within licensed areas.
Mark Russell, BMAPA Director, said: "The area of seabed licensed and dredged remain key indicators of the UK marine aggregate sector's performance and its potential to interact with both the environment and other marine users. The significant reductions in both indicators that have taken place over the last 19 years demonstrate an industry committed to continual improvement."
Nick Everington, Marine Minerals Portfolio Manager for The Crown Estate, said: "As manager of the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, we work in partnership with industry, to help support the sustainable use of sand and gravel resources. The annual 'Area Involved' report is an integral part of this, helping to ensure our better understanding and management of the marine environment over the long term."
Key information from the report includes:
- A total of 17.94 million tonnes of sand and gravel were dredged from Crown Estate licences in England and Wales during 2016 (18.82 million tonnes in 2015).
- The total area of seabed licensed in 2016 was 934km2 (932km2 in 2015).
- Dredging took place within 87.53km2, 9.37 per cent of the licensed area, compared with 82.67km2 (8.87 per cent) in 2015.
- The area of seabed dredged for more than 1 hour 15 minutes per year (high intensity – red on charts) was 7.52km2 (7.37km2 in 2015).
- 90 per cent of dredging from Crown Estate licences took place from an area of 33.92km2 (31.58km2 in 2015).
With the continued development and evolution of marine planning, high quality spatial and temporal data relating to marine aggregate dredging activity makes an important contribution in supporting the sustainable management of UK waters. Both BMAPA and The Crown Estate remain committed to maintaining and developing the Area Involved reporting initiative.
Marine aggregates provide over 20% of the sand and gravel demand in England and Wales, with the majority of supply used in high value ready-mixed concrete and concrete products. Certain regions are particularly reliant upon marine supplies. One third of all primary aggregate demand in London and the South East of England is met from marine resources, whilst in South Wales over 90% of the market demand for sand also comes from the sea.
Notes to Editors
Download the 19th annual 'Area Involved' report here.
About The Crown Estate:
The Crown Estate is a £13bn real estate business specialising in commercial property in central London, prime regional retail and offshore wind. It also has a substantial rural and coastal portfolio and the seabed around the England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Established by an Act of Parliament, as an independent commercial business, it returns 100% of its annual profits to the Treasury for the benefit of the public finances. This has totalled £2.6bn over the last ten years.
It issues consents for commercial licences relating to marine aggregate and other offshore mineral extraction.
For further information, please contact:
The Crown Estate: tel: 020 7851 5076