Government Waivers on Proposals to Implement Controversial Marine Conservation Zones
Top scientists have written to the Prime Minister over a decision to scale down controversial marine conservation zones in UK waters from original 127 to just 31. Only 15 have been earmarked from 58 off the South West Coast.
Finding Sanctuary in the South West conducted a two year project involving conservation groups, experts and marine industries. The project was a part of an Â£8 million investment nationwide. It included 65 highly protected areas where all damaging activities like fishing would be banned.
However, the decision to consider just 31 areas without enough protection and reference areas has disappointed the wildlife and scientific experts.
As many as 86 scientists have written to David Cameron that establishing 31 marine conservation zones are not enough to deliver the required protection for ocean wildlife.
They wrote, "According to your Government-appointed scientific advisory panel, the majority of targets that Government set to achieve an ecologically coherent network of protected areas would only be met if the proposed sites were designated in their entirety".
Also, the scientists told the Prime Minister that a failure to implement all the proposed areas has created a confusion to establish, world-class network of marine conservation zones.
A comprehensive and coherent network is required to deliver high levels of protection from damaging activities. Moreover, a clear timetable for the completion of the network is required along with reference areas.