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ARCHIVE: EU birds: Maintenance Dredging Protocol for England

This Protocol provides assistance to operators and regulators seeking, or giving, approval for maintenance dredging activities that could potentially affect European sites (also known as Natura 2000 or N2K sites) around the coast of England.

The Government considers that the EC Habitats Directive (92/43/EC) requires maintenance dredging proposals, which could potentially affect European sites, to be assessed in accordance with Article 6(3) of the Directive.

Representatives of the ports and marine leisure industries have agreed to work in co-operation with Defra, the Marine & Fisheries Agency, the Department for Transport and Natural England to develop an approach which allows the effect of maintenance dredging on European sites to be assessed without placing a disproportionate burden on those who commission or approve maintenance dredging operations. The Protocol sets out the process by which this is achieved.

Defra has now published a letter to relevant operators and regulators inviting their adoption of the Protocol. This explains the Protocol process in more detail and sets out how and when the Protocol will be rolled out.

Notice to port authorities 

The Marine & Fisheries Agency (MFA) are recording the status of port authorities taking up the Maintenance Dredging Protocol.  For those intending to adopt the Protocol, please notify Ricky Evans at the MFA via email:  or telephone: 020 7270 8671

Page last modified: 5 December 2008
Page published: 23 October 2008

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