Welcome call for action to protect marine wildlife

Thursday 11th April 2013

Soft corals cpt Paul NaylorSoft corals cpt Paul Naylor

A report which encourages setting a clear timetable for protection of the marine environment is warmly welcomed by The Wildlife Trusts.

The Commons Science and Technology Select Committee today publishes the results of its inquiry into marine science.  This influential group of MPs warns that the Government’s failure to push forward with the designation of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) is creating uncertainty for sea users and risks putting important habitats at risk.

We hope this Committee’s report will encourage some renewed commitment to protecting our fragile seas

Joan Edwards, Head of Living Seas, confirmed the Committee’s report reflects the concerns of The Wildlife Trusts.  She said: “We have voiced our concerns for some time that Government’s commitment to protecting the marine environment is failing.  The need for Marine Conservation Zones is well known, yet the Government is still refusing to act with the urgency required.

The Committee’s Chair, Andrew Miller MP, said the Government must end the uncertainty and set out a clear timetable for the designation of the MCZ network.

The MP’s report said the Government had ‘moved the goalposts’ during the MCZ process and that it was unclear how they had chosen the 31 sites put forward for designation this year.  The Committee also questioned why some sites identified as being ‘at risk’ were not being taken forward for protection. 

Andrew Miller MP, said: “Properly managed Marine Conservation Zones will protect marine life in the UK’s coastal waters and ensure the fishing industry has a sustainable long- term future.  The Government is currently letting the project flounder while sensitive environments are further degraded and the industry is subjected to further uncertainty."

Joan Edwards added:  "The Science and Technology Select Committee’s report is clear that the Government has no reason to delay the designation of the MCZ network.  We have been calling – and shall continue to call - for a clear timetable for action.  We hope this Committee’s report will encourage some renewed commitment to protecting our fragile seas.” 

Tagged with: Living Seas