RE:Bitter disappointment – Cornwall Wildlife Trust reacts to the Marine Conservation Zones consultation published recently
Today Defra released its long-awaited consultation on the next stages of designation of Marine Conservation Zones in English and non-devolved waters.
Along with other English Wildlife Trusts, Cornwall Wildlife Trust is disappointed by the lack of ambition shown in this consultation. Defra proposes to designate only 31 of the 127 sites recommended by experts and stakeholders at the end of August last year.
· Isles of Scilly
· Upper Fowey and Pont Pill and
· Tamar Estuary
We are disappointed because;
· The 127 recommended Marine Conservation Zones were chosen after two years of hard work by more than one million stakeholders from all sectors of the marine environment and at a cost of over £8.8 million to Government.
· Marine Conservation Zones should protect the species and habitats found within them from the most damaging and degrading of activities whilst mostly allowing sustainable activity to continue. The network was designed to ensure that we don’t end up with isolated and vulnerable sites and to ensure that the wide range of marine habitats found in UK seas are protected. Failure to designate all but a very small proportion of sites recommended by these stakeholders will mean that we lack the ecologically coherent network that our seas so badly need to recover.
Thefinal documents and information on the public consultation can be viewed via the Defra website here;
However a warning – there is an enormous amount of information to digest.
Until we contact you again in the New Year, we urge those interested in responding to the consultation, to sign up to be an MCZ friendso that we can contact you when we considered our response to the consultation. Go towww.wildlifetrusts.org/MCZfriends to sign up.
Many thanks everyone,
Marine Conservation Officer
Cornwall Wildlife Trust
Tel: (01872) 273939 ext 208