Don’t Rush Marine Conservation Zones in UK Waters

Written by on February 21, 2013 in Policy & Ocean Law

The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organizations (NFFO) recently declared its support for new marine conservation zones (MCZs) in UK waters. However, they warn that if the process is rushed, it will do more harm than good.

The NFFO represents fishing groups, individuals and producers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Government was planning on introducing 127 marine conservation zones, but after much deliberation they agreed to only designate 31 areas immediately and save the rest for after further scientific data could be gathered.

However, environmentalists are expected to gather in London on February 25 to rush the process and push for all 127 sites to be designated.

“Environmentalists may not be particularly concerned about fishermen’s livelihoods or the effect of poorly sited MCZs on local fishing communities – most of the initial sites will be close inshore – but they should be concerned about the ecological consequence of bad decisions,” explained Paul Trebilcock, Chairman of the NFFO.

“We are not opposed to marine conservation zones and see their value in protecting vulnerable marine habitats,” he continued. “But we are absolutely adamant that naïve enthusiasm should not railroad the government into premature and hasty decisions.”

View of the North Berwick Coast, one of the 127 proposed MCZs.

View of the North Berwick Coast, one of the 127 proposed MCZs. Photo credit: Karen Roe via photopin cc.

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Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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