Falmouth Harbour has begun boat trials on a unique eco-mooring system designed to protect sensitive areas of seabed from the scouring caused by traditional mooring chains.

The advanced mooring system (AMS) in place off Flushing Beach has been designed by Falmouth-based naval architect and engineering firm Morek, working with Falmouth Harbour’s marine operations team. The AMS has floats along the length of the mooring chain to lift it off the seabed, thus protecting the delicate habitats and seagrasses on the seabed.

Falmouth Harbour is monitoring how a yacht attached to the AMS sits in the water – in all weathers and tides – to gauge how safe and practical the system is for wider use in a commercial and leisure harbour environment.

Environment manager Vicki Spooner says: “We’ve put the trial AMS within one of the scour patches left by a traditional chain mooring – one of eleven removed by us in 2021 to allow the seagrass bed below to recover.”

“Ongoing monitoring of the scour patches by the University of Exeter shows the seagrass is regenerating itself, which is fantastic – and if the AMS functions as well as we hope with a yacht attached, we potentially foresee using them in environmentally sensitive areas, or on the fringes of these areas.” 

Images courtesy of Falmouth Harbour