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Hamford Water SPA

Qualifying features

Table 1. Qualifying features of Hamford Water SPA

Table 2. Supporting habitats of Hamford Water SPA

Site overview
Hamford Water is unique on the Essex coast as, with no major river entering it, it is not an estuary. It is a coastal embayment formed due to a dip in the underlying geology of the area (Natural England, 2015).

Conservation objectives
Ensure that the integrity of the site is maintained or restored as appropriate, and ensure that the site contributes to achieving the aims of the Wild Birds Directive, by maintaining or restoring; 

- The extent and distribution of the habitats of the qualifying features

- The structure and function of the habitats of the qualifying features

- The supporting processes on which the habitats of the qualifying features rely 

- The population of each of the qualifying features, and, 

- The distribution of the qualifying features within the site.

Site uses
Hamford Water SPA is adjacent to the international port of Harwich and some fishing activity occurs out of this port. Very little fishing activity currently occurs within Hamford Water itself as the area is largely intertidal. Subtidal areas are generally shallow and deeper areas play host to navigation channels. Some pelagic drift netting is undertaken in the site during times of inclement weather as the site provides shelter for smaller vessels. There are also low levels of small scale shrimp trawling on a sporadic basis.

There are two recreational marinas in the south of the site, Walton and Frinton Yacht Club and Titchmarsh Marina. 

KEIFCA's role
KEIFCA is responsible for assessing the effects of commercial fishing within this site and must implement appropriate conservation measures to avoid damage to EMS by fisheries activities. 

In addition to assessing the site and creating management plans, KEIFCA is also responsible for the enforcement of fisheries bylaws and regulations within this site.