MMO (7th March) South West characterisation disposal project: New site announced

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has announced a new disposal site to be known as Plymouth Deep in the South West area. The MMO facilitated the process of the designation of the new site by the funding partners including Associated British Ports (ABP), Cattewater, Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas). Consultation: The designation of a new site involved considering and balancing a variety of views from the fisheries, business, defence and scientific communities as well as from local residents. The MMO asked for people to share their views regarding a potential new marine disposal site in the South West from 29 November 2016 until 23 December 2016. This consultation period was extended to 6 January 2017 to allow for detailed representations.


Representations were received from the commercial fisheries sector. These were considered as part of the consultation process. The Site Characterisation Report was published on the MMO’s website, and direct consultation was undertaken with 8 organisations related to commercial fisheries.


After considering all available information, the MMO concluded that the proposed area is the optimal, sustainable alternative disposal site for dredged material. Plymouth Deep is now open for marine licence applications for the disposal of dredged material. All activities relating to the disposal of dredged material at sea are required to apply for a marine licence. As part of the licensing process, the MMO is required to assess various contaminants, to assess the suitability of the material for disposal at sea and in the proposed location. The MMO is content that any material disposed at the site will be suitable for disposal to sea.

Rame Head

It is important to note that the Rame Head South designated disposal site remains an open disposal site. Its status will change after 5 years to ‘disused’ and then to “closed” after 10 years.

The MMO has produced an evaluation report which details the conclusions drawn from a review of the evidence submitted, and the representations received during the consultation period. The evaluation report can be viewed on the Marine Selected Cases of the website. Click here for more details.

CEFAS has published ‘Disposal Site Monitoring Round the Coast of England: Results of Sampling (2015-16)’. See Dredged Material

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