- Brief Overview
- The Project
- The Sussex Marine Trust
- Socio-Economic Impact
- Environmental Impact
- Contact Us
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In order to purposefully scuttle a ship and leave it on the seabed in British waters a number of authorities need to be satisfied and grant their permission for the sinking to occur.
There are three main bodies that need to be satisfied; Crown Estates, the Marine Management Organisation and the Environment Agency. In addition to these there are other stakeholders that need to be consulted in order to realise the project.
The seabed around the United Kingdom belongs to the Crown and is managed by Crown Estates.
Crown Estates are not willing to accept the liability for an artificial reef and therefore require a suitable body to take on the lease of the appropriate area of seabed and maintain sufficient insurance cover to protect the body and Crown Estates.
A small company/charity such as the Sussex Marine Trust is not considered suitable as they could easily fold, leaving Crown Estates with the liability for the artificial reef. Crown Estates have indicated that a statutory authority (district or county council) or a large multi-national company would be considered as appropriate lease holders for the seabed onto which an artificial reef was to be placed.
Marine Management Organisation
A Marine Licence issued under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 200) is required from the Marine Management Organisation, for the deposit of articles or materials in the sea or tidal waters, before a ship can be intentionally sunk.
The Marine Licence will require the vessel to be stripped and cleaned of all potential marine pollutants (oils, fuels, lubricants, plastics, etc.) The licence will also stipulate the minimum depth of clear water that must be maintained above the reef to account for the draught of passing vessels.
Even though the vessel will have been cleaned of all marine pollutants in accordance with the Marine Licence the Environment Agency will also need to be satisfied with the project, as the Sussex Marine Trust will technically be 'dumping' approximately 3,000 tons of steel on the seabed.
Consultations will be held with a number of other stakeholders.
Communication is already underway with:
- Local Ports/Marinas
- Local Fisheries
- Local Businesses
- The Royal Yacht Association
- Trinity House
- The Coastguard Agency
Initial approaches have also been made to local authorities.