Scilly’s IFCA Pushing For Solution To Out-Of-Date Flares

A controlled burn of flares by Bomb Disposal experts

A controlled burn of flares by Bomb Disposal experts

Scilly’s Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority have been meeting with the MCA to discuss how to dispose of old flares on the islands.

IFCA Officer Steve Watt says it’s the legal responsibility of the owner, and the person who sold them the flares, to dispose of them.

But because they’re shipped in from the mainland here, that becomes more of a problem to deal with.

Steve says he wants to be able to make an annual collection of out-of-date flares and ship them back to the mainland in a sealed box on the Gry Maritha.

But the MCA department in Falmouth that used to dispose of them has been privatised and no longer offers the service. They’re looking for someone to take it on.

In the past, a visiting Army Bomb Disposal unit has also taken the collected flares to an uninhabited island and performed a “controlled burn.”

Steve says the scale of the problem is quite large in Scilly. A ‘flare amnesty’ organised by the islands’ Coastguard last year resulted in a box on St Mary’s Quay being filled to overflowing in a single day.

However, he also pointed out that expired flares are stable for at least 25 years unless they’re leaking or split.

Steve says it’s very much a “live problem” and is being actively pursued by the IFCA. He hopes they can come up with an acceptable and affordable solution with the MCA soon.



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