The UK Marine and Coastal Access Act

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 30 November -0001

The UK Marine & Coastal Access Act The UK Marine & Coastal Access Act commits the UK to an ambitious approach to managing the marine environment that will include establishing Marine Conservation Zones, a Marine Planning system, inshore fisheries reform, streamlining of licensing, establishment of a Marine Management Organisation (for England and UK matters) and coastal access provisions.

The UK Marine & Coastal Access Act The UK Marine & Coastal Access Act commits the UK to an ambitious approach to managing the marine environment that will include establishing Marine Conservation Zones, a Marine Planning system, inshore fisheries reform, streamlining of licensing, establishment of a Marine Management Organisation (for England and UK matters) and coastal access provisions. A network of Marine Conservation Zones needs to be established that will protect nationally important habitats and species such as eelgrass beds, seahorses and sea fans. See www.mcsuk.org/mpa for more details. A Marine Planning system will enable forward planning of all marine activities for the first time. A UK Marine Policy Statement will be produced and regional marine plans throughout UK waters. Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authorities have replaced Sea Fisheries Committees. A Marine Management Organisation has been established and is responsible for Marine Planning, licensing and fisheries. Licensing is intended to be reformed and simplified. Coastal access will be improved with one footpath around the whole of England. This will primarily be along the open coast. Please return to these pages for further information on the Marine Act, as they will be updated with additional literature. The UK Marine & Coastal Access Act became law on November 12th 2009. This followed a long campaign lead by the Marine Conservation Society, RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts, WWF and other charities working together under the umbrella group Wildlife & Countryside Link. MCS also campaigned for a Scottish Marine Act with other charity partners which became law in Spring 2010.

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Did you know?…

Over 500,000 records on undersea habitats and species have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers providing significant evidence for inshore ‘marine protected areas’

Over 170 parliamentarians from across the political spectrum signed up to our Marine Charter calling for a network of ‘marine protected areas’ in UK Seas

To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’

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