Fishermen discuss designation in the South East of England

In this short film made by Sam Mansfield and Margherita Pieraccini fishermen from the South East of England discuss the marine protected area network in their local region, and the marine conservation zone designation process they were involved in, Balanced Seas.

The issues they raise include the relationship between area based management and quota management under the CFP, the confusing multitude of designations and acronyms within the protected area network (NTZ, MPA, MCZ, SAC, EMS) and a lack of responsiveness in the designation process.

Interestingly, in last week’s designation the government stated that the decision to designate Hythe Bay (mentioned by Paul Joy in the video) would be postponed until 2014. This was the only potential MCZ to be treated in this way – perhaps reflecting how contentious designation of the area is.

English Marine Conservation Zones announced today

After a four year design process and a lengthy consultation, DEFRA announced today what the form of the Marine Conservation Area network would be. Only 27 have been proposed – significantly fewer than the 127 that were suggested by the regional stakeholder workshops (Balanced Seas, Finding Sanctuary, Net Gain and Irish Seas) in 2011.

From the 31 potential MCZs put forward for designation before the public consultation began, four will not be designated. These are Stour and Orwell and Hilbre Island, which will not be designated, North of Celtic Deep, which will be considered in the next tranche, and Hythe Bay (in one of our case study sites) for which a decision will be made next year.

Scottish MPA consultation nears end

The Scottish consultation on the proposed network of 33 MPAs will end this Wednesday, the 13th of November. This means this week is your last chance to have your say on the marine protected areas planned for Scottish seas.

Proposed Scottish MPA Network

The proposed MPA network for Scotland, in a map produced by SNH, JNCC and Marine Scotland (click through for source).

If you’d like to contribute to the MPA designation process, you can download a consultation response form from the Scottish Government website.