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Mooring and Anchoring

Moorings can be categorised as conventional swing moorings, trot moorings and ‘eco-moorings’. Other forms of mooring include bolts attached directly to rock (subtidal and intertidal), pontoons and pile moorings.

This category encompasses the following activities:

Environmentally Friendly Moorings (EFMs), or eco moorings, are mooring systems designed to have less impact on the sea bed than conventional swing moorings. They aim to minimise interaction with the seabed to prevent abrasion and therefore the potential to damage sensitive habitats. Pages are now available on the RYA website dedicated to EFMs. These pages are a collaborative effort, designed to provide a useful resource to explore what EFMs are, the types and manufacturers of them, to give examples of existing trials and projects, to host a variety of reports and study documentation, and to provide a means of collating further information as the EFM landscape evolves.

Watch a YouTube video that looks at the use of Advanced Mooring Systems as an alternative to traditional moorings. Experts in the field share more about the designs of these systems as well as their potential to limit the impact of recreational boating on seabed habitat. 

A practical guide to anchoring and mooring best practice is available from The Green Blue, the joint environmental awareness programme between the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and British Marine. The guidance, The Green Guide to Anchoring and Moorings, raises awareness of the importance of seagrass and maerl habitats and to actively inspire the boating community to adopt best practice when on the water to minimise any impact on these protected marine habitats.

MMO Management of Moorings and Anchoring

In December 2021, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) introduced a phased voluntary approach for the management of anchoring in Studland Bay Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ). In June 2022, the area will be increased to cover the majority of seagrass beds to form a permanent voluntary no anchor zone. Studland Bay is very popular with boaters and the level of recreational activity, particularly anchoring activity within the seagrass beds in the MCZ, can result in damage to the seagrass when they anchors make contact with and dig into the seabed.

Potential Impacts