Action: Designate a Marine Protected Area and set a no-anchoring zone
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects of designating a Marine Protected Area and setting a no-anchoring zone on subtidal benthic invertebrate populations.
‘We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this intervention during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore, we have no evidence to indicate whether or not the intervention has any desirable or harmful effects.
Anchoring of boats (and other vessels) can impact subtidal benthic invertebrates through physical damage from anchors and chains (Griffith et al. 2017). Structurally complex seabed habitats, such as seagrass and mussel beds, or oyster and coral reefs, are considered particularly at risk from recreational anchoring (Hammerstrom et al. 2007). Specific areas can be designated as protected, and specific management measures taken to control for impactful activities such as anchoring (Axelson et al. 2012). Setting a no-anchoring zone(s) in marine protected areas can help reduce anchoring-related pressures on subtidal benthic invertebrates, potentially allowing them to naturally recover over time. However, species and populations are still subjected to the effects of other allowed activities.
Evidence related to similar intervention outside of a protected area are summarised under “Threat: Transportation and service corridors – Set limits or reduce the area where ships can anchor”.
Axelsson M., Allen C. & Dewey S. (2012) Survey and monitoring of seagrass beds at Studland Bay, Dorset – second seagrass monitoring report. Seastar Survey Ltd, Report to The Crown Estate and Natural England.
Griffiths C.A., Langmead O.A., Readman J.A.J. & Tillin H.M. (2017) Anchoring and Mooring Impacts in English and Welsh Marine Protected Areas: Reviewing sensitivity, activity, risk and management. A report to Defra Impacts Evidence Group.
Hammerstrom K.K., Kenworthy W.J., Whitfield P.E. & Merello M.F. (2007) Response and recovery dynamics of seagrasses Thalassia testudinum and Syringodium filiforme and macroalgae in experimental motor vessel disturbances. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 345, 83–92.