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Whitstable: Oyster racks to stay on beach after Marine Management Organisation concludes investigation

By Joe Wright

Controversial oyster racks on Whitstable beach have been deemed safe to stay after an investigation over alleged licensing issues concluded this week.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) launched the probe early last year following reports the trestles were deposited illegally on land owned by the Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company.

Calls for them to be removed were backed by former MP Sir Julian Brazier and councillor Ashley Clark but after a lengthy investigation, the MMO concluded there was insufficient evidence to prove a criminal offence.

The oyster racks off Whitstable
The oyster racks off Whitstable

As well as scrutinising the licensing, the MMO also analysed the potential hazards of the oyster racks.

A statement released on gov.uk states: “The array of trestles do not currently constitute an obstruction or danger to navigation.

“The MMO has a difficult task in managing competing uses of the marine area and appreciates there has been much public debate about the issue. It previously met with a number of local representatives on the matter.

"As it is important that the MMO carries out its duties and obligations impartially and fairly it did not feel it appropriate to open this process to a wider audience during an ongoing investigation.”

The MMO has confirmed it will continue to monitor the situation but no further retrospective legal action will be taken.

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