At the beginning of the year, we celebrated being presented the coveted Boating Business Environment Award at the annual Marine Trade Association (MTA) & Boating Business Awards.
We scooped the award for our commitment to reducing carbon emissions across our marinas and our work protecting the environment. We were also recognised in particular for leading the sector in tackling the spread of marine non-native species to protect native aquatic life, working with the Government and key stakeholders.
Peter Nash, Editor of Boating Business, commented: “This award is always given to a business that has pulled out all the stops to deliver lasting environmental improvements in the marine industry. The judging panel was very impressed with the recent sustainability measures that MDL has introduced, spanning a number of different environmental issues, and the company’s dedication to continually pursuing ways to protect the environment.”
Our commitment to protecting and preserving our local environments in and around our marinas continues. We recently teamed up with The BLUE Marine Foundation and Land Rover BAR to design a customised pontoon, which aims to assist with the restoration of the native oyster in the Solent, once the biggest oyster fishery in Europe. The newly developed pontoon structure, which bolts directly to the side of existing walkway pontoons, was designed to accommodate cages that will be used to house brood stock oysters. The mesh size is such that the adult oysters will be contained within the cages but their spat are picked up on the tide and redistributed throughout the Solent.
Researchers from the Portsmouth Institute of Marine Science will study the oysters on the Land Rover BAR pontoon, closely monitoring the relationship between density and mortality / reproduction rates. This research will help identify optimum conditions for the oysters, which we will then replicate across pontoons in all of our marinas across the Solent.
Until the late seventies, nearly 500 boats made a living from catching oysters in the Solent, employing more than 700 men at sea. Fishing for oysters was banned in 2013 due to a drastic decline in numbers, but we hope our pontoons will be instrumental in returning the oyster numbers to a satisfactory level throughout the Solent and allow fishing to be permitted once again.
We’ll be sure to keep you posted on this!