Marine Protected Areas
HC 221, First Report of Session 2014-15 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes Relating to the Report
- House of Commons - Environmental Audit Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) can protect our seas from over-fishing and give species and habitats space to recover, ultimately benefiting people whose livelihoods depend on healthy seas; but the report 'Marine Protected Areas (HC 221)' cites that the Government has been too slow in creating these Zones, and it has failed to get coastal communities and fishermen on board.
It is now well over four years since the launch of the programme, yet only 27 of the 127 sites recommended by independent project groups have been designated. Budget reductions at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) mean the Government is currently unable to demonstrate that the Marine Management Organisation (the public body charged with managing the Zones) will have the resources needed to manage and enforce the MCZs.
The Government must set out a strategy for the management of the 27 MCZs and management plans for individual Zones to demonstrate that they can be enforced. The Committee calls upon the Government to bring forward the MCZ programme, so that more Zones are designated in the next phase, which is due in 2015.
It is recommended that Ministers follow a precautionary principle approach to designating new Zones, and use the 'best available' data rather than applying the more stringent evidence standards recently introduced by the Government, that requires data which is much harder and more expensive to obtain.
|Format||Paperback||Published||21 Jun 2014|
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