Dredging of Peel harbour will take place early next year it has been announced after concerns were raised about a build up of silt in the harbour.
Ann Reynolds, director of ports, said: ‘The harbour was last dredged in 2012 and will be dredged again between January and May next year.
‘When the harbour is dredged the boats are relocated temporarily within the harbour [while the dredging takes place].
‘Silt is carried down the River Neb, particularly after heavy rainfall. This is a natural process; stopping the silt entering the harbour would require major civil engineering works,’ continued Ms Reynolds.
‘The Ports Division will carry out the works, with prior communication with the marina users, and hope to cause as little inconvenience as possible.
‘We try to limit the inconvenience by dredging during the winter period, when the harbour is not busy and with full consultation with the marina users,’ said Ms Reynolds.
‘The works are always ‘programmed’ to take place between January and May to allow for fish migratory patterns.’
Asked about the cost of dredging the harbour, Ms Reynolds said: ‘There is no set amount; the costs vary with the amount of silt to be removed.’
Silt is granular material of a size somewhere between sand and clay whose mineral origin is quartz and feldspar.
Silt may occur as a soil or as suspended sediment, also known as suspended load, in a surface water body.
It may also exist as soil deposited at the bottom of a water body.
Dredging is an excavation activity or operation usually carried out at least partly underwater, in shallow seas or fresh water areas with the purpose of gathering up bottom sediments and disposing of them at a different location.
This technique is often used to keep waterways navigable.
A dredger is any device, machine, or vessel that is used to excavate and remove material from the bottom of a body of water.
For example, a scoop attached to the end of a rope or pole by which a man can draw sediments up from the bottom of a pond is a dredger.
The process of dredging creates spoils (excess material), which are carried away from the dredged area.
Dredging can produce materials for land reclamation or other purposes (usually construction-related), and has also historically played a significant role in gold mining.
Dredging can create disturbance in aquatic ecosystems, often with adverse impacts.
The River Neb is one of the principal rivers in the Isle of Man. It rises in the Michael hills, flows south west through Glen Helen, where it is joined by the Blaber River, to St John’s, where it is joined by its principal tributary, the Foxdale River, and then flows North West to the Irish Sea at Peel.
Peel harbour is the most active fishing port in the Isle of Man and is also used to import fuel oils.