Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

Marine Conservation Zones - RYA encouraged by government approach

by Louise Nicholls on 19 Dec 2012
MCZ Defra Map, Dec 2012 .
The RYA has studied the consultation documentation following the Government’s announcement of the public consultation for Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) and is encouraged by the approach the Government has taken.

Caroline Price RYA Planning and Environment Advisor 'The phased approach that Government is proposing appears on the face of it to be very sensible.

'The RYA has been resolute in insisting that a MCZ should be no larger than required to protect the habitats and wildlife features which it is intended to protect and that the scientific basis for designating a particular feature for protection should be sound.

'We are pleased therefore to see that Ministers have recognised that they need to have a strong evidence base when looking to designate sites, from both an ecological and socio-economic perspective

'We are particularly encouraged that the approach to highly protected sites is being reviewed as the proposals for Reference Areas are of great concern to us'.

Of the 31 sites proposed in the consultation for designation in 2013 the RYA has objections to only one of the sites: the Aln Estuary recommended MCZ contains a small charted anchorage in the one location in which a vessel can stay afloat at all states of the tide in the Estuary and we will be seeking to retain access to this resource.

The RYA does have on-going concerns about a number of other sites being considered for designation at some point in the future and is continuing in its discussions with Defra and the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies (SNCBs) about these and will be highlighting them in its response to this consultation.

The RYA is broadly supportive of government plans to establish a coherent network of Marine Protected Areas and Marine Conservation Zones. However, it has fought throughout the process to date, and will continue to do so, to protect the public right of navigation and to ensure, as far as is possible, that recreational boating interests are not adversely affected by the designation of such MCZs.

'We mustn’t forget that this public consultation does not include the management measures that may be introduced once a site has been designated. Responses to this consultation therefore are confined only to the site boundaries and the conservation objectives for protected features' continues Caroline.

'This is why the issue of a strong evidence base is important at this stage because it will be on the basis of that evidence that the management measures will be devised in the future'.

'The omission of the detail of management measures from this consultation means that we still don’t really know what designation will actually mean to the local community'.

Management measures will be devised by regulators and public authorities such as the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), who should decide with local stakeholders how each of their conservation zones will be managed.

There is currently no information on how this will happen but the indications from the MMO are that voluntary measures will play a key role. Management measures could potentially place restrictions on certain activities in a MCZ and for recreational boating this may include restrictions on anchoring or the laying of race marks.

The RYA will be responding to the current public consultation and will focus on issues of safety of navigation and socio-economics together with impacts on recreational boating amenity. Individual clubs and members may have additional locally specific points covering a wide range of issues and the RYA would encourage them to provide this information directly to Defra for consideration by Government. The public consultation is open to everyone who wishes to respond and the full consultation document together with instructions on how to submit comments is available here.

Although this particular consultation seeks views on the 31 sites being recommended for designation in 2013, Defra would welcome comments on all other sites being considered. They are also keen to receive general comments, particularly in relation to the approach to Reference Areas.

Further information on the RYA’s response to this consultation is available on the RYA website.
T Clewring J-classSchaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82Southern Spars - 100

Related Articles

Terry Kohler, driving force of North Technology dies at 82
Terry Kohler who purchased North Sails was the driving force behind the North Technology Group, has died aged 82 Terry Kohler who purchased North Sails from Lowell North over 30 years ago and was the driving force behind the North Technology Group, has died aged 82. With the combined company of North sails and Southern Spars, Kohler created the 'Engine above the Deck' concept which married the technology used to build the sails and spars to be designed and work as an integral unit.
Posted on 21 Sep
'Grate Art' in Hong Kong
Hong Kong charity pioneers environmental awareness through innovative storm grate installations In an effort to help Hong Kongers play their part in protecting the world’s ocean, Ocean Recovery Alliance is raising awareness through a unique public art installation called ‘Grate Art’. Hong Kong’s drainage system is one of the main sources for debris outflow into the ocean, and Ocean Recovery Alliance is tackling this problem upstream through an initiative that uses “art for awareness”.
Posted on 14 Sep
Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
Rio official murdered ten months before the Olympics
Rio de Janeiro is a troubled city and a reeling Olympic host, but it will always have beautiful Guanabara Bay. Does an unsolved murder of an official in Rio in charge of cleaning up Guanabara Bay say a lot about the state of platy in the magical city? Priscilla Pereira was murdered 10 months ago and the thinking is that she was murdered in relation to her work
Posted on 31 Jul
WHO statement on Zika virus
The third meeting of the EC convened by the Director-General under IHR 2005 regarding microcephaly and Zika virus The third meeting of the Emergency Committee (EC) convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR 2005) regarding microcephaly, other neurological disorders and Zika virus was held by teleconference on 14 June 2016, from 13:00 to 17:15 Central European Time.
Posted on 16 Jun
Atlantic Cup 2016 - a race with an environmental commitment
The Atlantic Cup continues to further its mission for the 2016 race by examining the global economic impact of the ocean The Atlantic Cup continues to further its mission for the 2016 race by examining the global economic impact of the ocean and how an unhealthy ocean can affect the economy.
Posted on 7 Apr
Zika virus situation report
From 1 January 2007 to 16 March 2016, Zika virus transmission was documented in a total of 59 countries and territories. From 1 January 2007 to 16 March 2016, Zika virus transmission was documented in a total of 59 countries and territories. Cuba and Dominica are the latest to report autochthonous (local) transmission of Zika virus on 14 and 15 March, respectively. Five of these countries and territories reported a Zika virus outbreak that is now over.
Posted on 2 Apr
Have Norway scientists solved the Bermuda Triangle mystery?
The Bermuda Triangle has been said to have claimed numerous ships and aircraft over the years The Bermuda Triangle has been said to have claimed numerous ships and aircraft over the years, and everything from aliens to remnants from the lost island of Atlantis have been fingered as the culprits.
Posted on 15 Mar
Cyclone Winston Relief Fund – Help the people of Fiji
Sea Mercy is sending volunteer fleet of small and large vessels, loaded with shelter, food and medical supplies to Fiji. Sea Mercy is once again sending our volunteer fleet of small and large vessels, loaded with shelter, food, water and medical supplies and teams to Fiji.
Posted on 27 Feb
Flying Scot Atlantic Coast Champs - Hanson Medals awarded for rescues
US Sailing Safety at Sea Committee awarded the Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medals to eight boats for their heroic efforts The US Sailing Safety at Sea Committee awarded the Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medals to eight boats for their heroic efforts when a microburst storm hit the 2015 Flying Scot Atlantic Coast Championship, hosted by the Blackbeard Sailing Club, in New Bern, NC on September 12.
Posted on 2 Feb