Marine Conservation Zones
RYA working to ensure that recreational boating's interests are considered.
The RYA is broadly supportive of the aspiration for ‘clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas.
At the same time however, we are working to minimise the potential impact of MCZs on the navigational rights and safety of recreational boaters.
We have been involved in all four of the English Regional Stakeholder Groups (RSG) and continue to work with stakeholders and the Dept. for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
RYA Northern Ireland, RYA Scotland and the Welsh Yachting Association are engaging directly with the Marine Protected Area (MPA) process in their respective countries with support from RYA HQ.
The RYA wants to achieve
- Minimise the impact of management measures introduced in MCZs that do not satisfy the criteria outlined below.
The RYA has successfully
- Ensured that the Marine and Coastal Act 2009 provided that the navigation rights and safety of recreational boaters may be taken into account in the selection and designation of MCZs.
- Ensured that a number of important safe havens around the coast were not put forward as a Reference Areas in which many boating activities might be restricted.
- The potential economic or social consequences should be taken into account when considering whether to designate an MCZ.
- MCZs should be no larger than required to protect the identified habitats and wildlife features.
- Protection measures should only be applied to recreational craft activity if sound scientific evidence confirms that the protected habitat or wildlife feature and such activity cannot reasonably co-exist. Any measures should be proportionate.
- Protection measures should not be considered until voluntary measures have been shown to be unsuccessful.
- Areas in which protection measures are applied should be clearly identifiable from navigational materials e.g. charts, pilot books and/or almanacs.
England: The Government conducted a public consultation on 31 of the proposed 127 sites put forward by the RSGs. The RYA has responded to that consultation and continues to engage with Dept. for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on this issue.
Wales: The Welsh Government instructed a Task and Finish Team to review the approach to MCZs in Welsh waters. The team was supported by a stakeholder focus group of which the RYA/WYA were members.
The Task and Finish Team delivered their final report to Welsh ministers on the 30th April 2013 which recommended adaptive management on a site by site basis.
The report also highlighted the importance of effective stakeholder involvement from the beginning and the need to consider socio-economic impacts of designation. The Welsh Government is due to announce their ‘next steps’ shortly.
Scotland: Scottish Government is developing Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Scotland 33 proposed Nature Conservation MPAs are due to be consulted on in July 2013; RYA and RYA Scotland will be responding.
Northern Ireland: The Northern Ireland Marine Bill is due to gain Royal assent in the summer of 2013. Following this the Department of Environment (DOE) will start work to designate a number of MCZs in Northern Irish waters.
The DOE published its draft ‘Strategy for Marine Protected Areas in the Northern Ireland Inshore Region’ which sets out its plans for identifying MCZs.
This consultation will close in September 2013 and it is anticipated that work towards designation will begin thereafter. The RYA and RYANI will be responding to the draft strategy and plan to be heavily engaged as plans for MCZ designation are taken forward.
The DOE have already announced that Strangford Lough, an important area for boating in Northern Ireland, is likely to form one of the first MCZs.
Read more on Marine Conservations Zones.
Sites for second tranche of MCZs now being considered by Defra
37 sites are being considered for inclusion in the second tranche. ... read more
First Marine Conservation Zones in England announced
Defra announces the creation of 27 Marine Conservation Zones in English waters. ... read more
Recreational boating needs to be considered in Scotland's marine plans
Critical that recreational boating is considered in Scotland’s recently published plans on how Scotland’s seas are managed in the future. ... read more
MCZ process floundering?
Government being urged not to stall the MCZ process – but is it? ... read more
Decision to withdraw plans for 10 MCZs in Wales is good news for boating
Wesh Government to go back to the drawing board. ... read more
RYA to give evidence to Welsh Assembly on proposed Marine Conservation Zones in Wales
The RYA will give evidence to the National Assembly for Wales Inquiry into Marine Policy in Wales. ... read more
MCZ public consultation
Four weeks left to submit your comments to Government on Marine Conservation Zones proposed for designation in 2013. ... read more
RYA encouraged by Government's measured approach to designation of Marine Conservation Zones in England
The RYA has studied the consultation documentation and is encouraged by the approach Government has taken ... read more
Marine Conservation Zones: Northern Ireland
Following input from the RYA and RYANI, the NI draft Marine Bill must now consider socio-economic impacts in the designation of marine conservation zones ... read more
Robust RYA response to proposed HPMCZs in Welsh waters
Robust RYA response to Welsh Government consultation on highly protected marine conservation zones. ... read more
Advice on the 127 recommended MCZs presented to Government
RYA will be reading the Advice Package with interest. ... read more
Defra to review evidence base for some rMCZs
The RYA welcomes the review but believes it should be extended. ... read more
MCZ final reports submitted
The English project teams have put forward recommended MCZs for consideration. ... read more
Third progress reports published by the four English MCZ projects April 11
The English Regional Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) Projects have recently published their Third Progress Reports. ... read more
The Marine and Coastal Access Act explained
The RYA welcomes the groundbreaking Marine and Coastal Access Act which received Royal Assent on Thursday 12 November. ... read more