Poole Harbour in Dorset, southern England, is protected and recognised, both nationally and internationally, for its ecological importance. However, it has also been classified as polluted and 'eutrophic'. These twin designations – protected yet polluted – exemplify the condition of many English estuaries, making Poole Harbour a useful case study for elucidating the circumstances behind this apparent paradox.
The outcome of a conference entitled 'Spotlight on Poole Harbour: Environment & Economics' organised by the Poole Harbour Study Group, this book consists of four main parts. After a short preamble, Part I, 'Background', provides a broad introduction to the harbour in terms of its pre-historical and historical significance for human communities and a conceptual overview of its modern character and uses. Part II, 'Ecology', contains chapters on subjects ranging from plankton to mammals. Insofar as they also consider anthropogenic aspects of the ecology, these contributions anticipate the remaining sections of the book, which deal specifically with aspects of the ecological service industries supported by Poole Harbour. Part III, 'Fisheries', covers recreational and commercial fishing and aquaculture, examining economic value and key shellfish species. Part IV, 'Water Quality', addresses those industries for which the harbour's chemical and biological processes remediate various effluents, as well as some of the environmental consequences and noteworthy efforts to reduce such impacts. Part V, 'Conclusion', by the editors looks at certain general shortcomings of environmental legislation and regulation in the case of Poole Harbour.
A central concern throughout is the question of sustainable development in coastal estuarine and marine contexts, making this far-reaching study relevant well beyond the bounds of its primary geographical focus.
Poole Harbour Study Group
1 Introduction: Ecology and Economics in an Industrialised Harbour / John Humphreys and Alice E. Hall
Part I: Background
2 An Industrial History of Poole Harbour / David A. Humphreys
3 The Archaeology of the Marine Shells of Poole Harbour / Jessica Winder and Greg Campbell
4 Developing Conceptual Ecosystem Models for Poole Harbour / Eleanor Rivers and Roger J.H. Herbert
Part II: Ecology
5 The Planktonic Organisms of Poole Harbour / Daniel J. Franklin and Andrew Powell
6 Intertidal and Lagoon Macrofauna and Flora of Poole Harbour / Roger J.H. Herbert, Richard A. Stillman, Kathryn Ross, Ann Thornton, Alice E. Hall, Jessica Bone, Leo Clarke, Elena Cantarello and Philip Pickering
7 The Fishes of Poole Harbour / Philip Pickering and Roger J.H. Herbert
8 Waterbirds of Poole Harbour: Figures and Trends / Kathryn E. Ross, Katharine M. Bowgen, Niall H.K. Burton, Roger J.H. Herbert and Richard A. Stillman
9 An Overview of Seals in Poole Harbour / Sarah Hodgson and Julie Hatcher
10 Holes Bay Nature Park: Ecology and Human Activity / Emma Rance
Part III: Fisheries
11 Fisheries of Poole Harbour / Robert W. E. Clark
12 A Tale of Three Fisheries: The Value of the Small-scale Commercial Fishing Fleet, Aquaculture and the Recreational Charter Boat Fleet to the Local Economy of Poole / Chris Williams and William Davies
13 The Manila Clam in Poole Harbour: A Journey to Sustainability / Sarah Elizabeth Birchenough
14 Ecology and Exploitation of Poole Harbour Oysters / John Humphreys
Part IV: Water QualIty
15 Water Framework Directive Ecological Monitoring in Poole Harbour, 2007–2019 / Suzy Witt
16 Wessex Water’s Environmental Improvement Work in the Poole Harbour Catchment during the Twenty-First Century, 2000–2019 / Ruth Barden
17 Managing Poole Harbour Water Quality through a Catchment-based Approach / Fiona Bowles
18 Using Drone Surveys to Assess Opportunistic Green Algae in Poole Harbour / Andrew Harrison
19 Nuisance Macroalgae in Poole Harbour / Suzy Witt
20 The Potential Economic Exploitation of Macroalgal Mats in Poole Harbour and Other Channel Estuarine Systems / Sinead E. Morris, Gordon J. Watson, Sophie Richier, Iain D. Green, Annesia L. Lamb and Daniel J. Franklin
Part V ConclusIon
21 Conservation and Regulation in an Industrialised Estuary / John Humphreys and Alice E. Hall
John Humphreys is Professor of Marine Biology and formerly Pro Vice-chancellor of the University of Greenwich and Chair of the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority. His edited volumes include Marine Protected Areas: Science, Policy and Management (2020) with Rob Clark and Challenges in Estuarine and Coastal Science with Sally Little (2022).
Alice E. Hall is a marine biologist at the University of Plymouth, specialising in marine ecology and ecological engineering. Alice has conducted research within the harbour for the last six years. She is also the environmental commissioner for Poole Harbour Commissioners.