Out with the old and in with the new. Down comes the old (Westie dog pictures) calendar from 2012 and up in its place the proud new 2013 Cambria Calendar. All the family birthdays get transferred in and any other significant dates added. It occurs to me that I should also be making more use of the Calendar on this website (New Year’s Resolution?) so if any of you know any significant barging dates yet which could go on there, please let me know – race dates, meetings, lectures, conferences or anything else the barge world might like to know about.
Meanwhile I am, as you know, following our former Mate, Dick Durham writing in Yachting Monthly via the magazine’s RSS “feed” of blog and news snippets. Recently he has written an interesting piece on MCZ’s (Marine Conservation Zones). These are areas of coastal and off shore water which Environmentalists are pushing to establish to protect whales, dolphins and all manner of marine life from the ravages of over use by any other ‘lobby’, development by wind farm construction and so on; a nice little source of conflict as you can imagine. The sailing and yachting side of this argument has raised concerns that the MCZs are too big and restrictive and might clip their wings and stop them sailing and mooring where they like.
Dick Durham reports that some common sense has been brought into this debate. “The coalition Government (reports Dick) is taking ‘sensible’ steps towards a phased approach to the Marine Conservation Zones the RYA says. The controversial issues were highlighted in Yachting Monthly’s analysis special in the December issue.
Caroline Price RYA Planning and Environment Advisor, said: ‘The phased approach that Government is proposing appears on the face of it to be very sensible.
‘The RYA has been resolute in insisting that a MCZ should be no larger than required to protect the habitats and wildlife features which it is intended to protect and that the scientific basis for designating a particular feature for protection should be sound.
‘We are pleased therefore to see that Ministers have recognised that they need to have a strong evidence base when looking to designate sites, from both an ecological and socio-economic perspective”
I have to admit to being firmly on the Environmental side of this one, being a card-carrying “Whale and Dolphin Conservation” member but I am somewhere in the middle ground – we do need the conservation zones lest we end up with over used or abused chunks of environment just off shore, but yachtsmen and sailors also need their water to sail on.
If you are interested in this debate and would like to know more, then the site is on