Marine Conservation Zones for English seas stalling, say MPs

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 3 July 2013

Marine Conservation Zones for English seas stalling, say MPs posted: 3rd July 2013 The Marine Conservation Society agrees with the findings of the House of Commons Science & Technology Select Committee that the Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) process seems to be stalling, and lacks a clear timetable that details when Government will designate the network of MCZs.

Marine Conservation Zones for English seas stalling, say MPs posted: 3rd July 2013 The Marine Conservation Society agrees with the findings of the House of Commons Science & Technology Select Committee that the Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) process seems to be stalling, and lacks a clear timetable that details when Government will designate the network of MCZs. Dr Jean-Luc Solandt, Senior Biodiversity Policy Officer, who gave evidence to the Committee said “It is now three and a half years since the Marine Act came into force and we still do not have the first tranche of MCZs designated, nor do we have a clear commitment and timetable for the much needed network. We agree with the Committee that Government seems to be stalling, and feel they should have published a timetable in response to the Select Committee’s report.” “There is scientific consensus that there is sufficient evidence to designate the network, with 86 eminent scientists writing to the Prime Minister in this regard. Conservation NGOs, maritime industries represented by the Sea Users Development Group and the Science and Technology Committee are all calling for a timetable, with industry concerned that the lack of clarity causes uncertainty for business. A few weeks ago we delivered over 350,000 public pledges to the Prime Minister stating that they want the Marine Conservation Zone network, too”. Watch this space: The government department Defra will be publishing its report on a recent consultation this month, if you would like to be kept informed about what is said, and what MCS thinks of it, please sign up for the MCS Enews here. The committee’s report “Marine Science: Government Response to the Committee’s Ninth Report of Session” can be viewed at http://www.parliament.uk/science/ The press release sent to MCS on the 2nd July 2013 on behalf of the committee follows: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE Select Committee Announcement No. 15 (13-14): 2 July 2013 GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE CLEARER ON PLANS FOR MARINE CONSERVATION ZONES, SAY MPs NEW REPORT: Government response to the Committee’s Ninth Report of Session 2012-13 Concerns that the Marine Conservation Zone project is stalling have not been fully addressed, warn MPs. Commenting on the Government response, Andrew Miller MP, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee, said “Our report called for the Government to set out a clear timetable for the Marine Conservation Zones process and a commitment to an end date by which an ecologically coherent network of marine protected areas will be established. This response fails to do so. We await the outcome of the Government’s consultation on the first group of possible Marine Conservation Zones with interest and we will be following up this work with the Minister to make sure the process is not delayed any further.” The Government response is published on the Committee’s website Wednesday 3 July. SPECIAL REPORT TO BE PUBLISHED: Marine science The Science and Technology Committee has received a response from the Government to the ‘Marine science’ Report produced by the Committee on 11 April 2013. The response will be published as a Special Report on Wednesday 3 July at 00.01 am (HC 443): Marine science: Government Response to the Committee’s Ninth Report of Session 2012-13 There will be no embargoed copies of the Special Report. Copies of the Special Report can be obtained from TSO outlets and from the Parliamentary Bookshop (020 7219 3890) upon publication by quoting the appropriate HC number. The text of the Special Report will be available on the Committee’s website from the time of publication. Follow the Committee’s business on Twitter @CommonsSTC FURTHER INFORMATION Committee Membership: Andrew Miller (Labour, Ellesmere Port and Neston) (Chair) Jim Dowd (Labour, Lewisham West and Penge) Stephen Metcalfe (Conservative, South Basildon and East Thurrock) David Morris (Conservative, Morecambe and Lunesdale) Stephen Mosley (Conservative, City of Chester) Pamela Nash (Labour, Airdrie and Shotts) Sarah Newton (Conservative, Truro and Falmouth) Graham Stringer (Labour, Blackley and Broughton) David Tredinnick (Conservative, Bosworth) Hywel Williams (Plaid Cymru, Arfon) Roger Williams (Liberal Democrat, Brecon and Radnorshire) The Government’s response to their report can be viewed here. Read more: MCS’ opinion on the start of the recent MCZ consultation (posted 13th December 2012) Our march on Parliament (posted 25th February 2013) The scientists’ letter to the Prime Minister (posted 22nd April 2013)

Actions you can take


Join us today

Help protect our seas, shores and wildlife

Join now