Marine Conservation Zones
RYA working to ensure that recreational boating's interests are considered
The RYA supports the UK and Devolved Governments’ shared vision for clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas.
We recognise that establishing an ecologically coherent network of marine protected areas would contribute towards achieving this vision.
The RYA believes that in most cases this vision can be achieved without any adverse effect on either the public right or the safety of navigation for recreational boating.
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 on recreational boating.
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.
We believe there are three key issues that are critical to recreational boating interests in both the designation and management of marine protected areas (MPAs). These are:
1. The impact of MPAs on legitimate uses of the sea
2. The need for objective and robust evidence in the decision-making process
3. The proportionality, enforceability and effectiveness of proposals
Impact on legitimate uses of the sea
- The public right of navigation (which includes anchoring) should be respected and upheld and the safety of navigation should not be adversely impacted.
- When considering whether to designate an area as an MPA, all relevant economic and social consequences, including indirect effects on sectors which support recreational boating, should be taken into account where the legislation provides for this.
- All options for protection through voluntary initiatives such as those actively promoted by The Green Blue should be exhausted prior to consideration of statutory management measures.
The need for objective and robust evidence
- At all stages, decisions on MPA designation and management should be based on sound, objective and robust evidence. The evidence should be up-to-date and from a reliable source.
- An area or site should not be designated for a specific feature (e.g. species, habitat or historic asset) unless it has been established that the feature is present in the area to be protected.
- Management measures affecting recreational boating activity should not be introduced or retained unless it can be demonstrated that the protected feature and the activity cannot reasonably co-exist in a particular area. The implementation of any management measures should be subject to regular review and there should be no presumption that such measures should apply for the lifetime of the MPA.
Proportionality, enforceability and effectiveness
- MPAs should be no larger than required to protect the features which they are intended to protect, and there should be no unnecessary duplication of statutory controls already in place.
- Any proposed management measures restricting recreational boating activity should be proportionate to the impact of the activity to be restricted. Management measures to protect a particular feature should only apply to that part of the MPA in which the feature is located and there should be no presumption that such measures should apply uniformly across the whole of an MPA.
- Statutory management measures should not be imposed unless it can be demonstrated that they are enforceable and will be enforced. Such measures must be effectively communicated to those likely to be affected, using methods appropriate to the activity. Where statutory management measures are introduced, they should include a general due diligence defence.
RYA to give evidence on Marine Protected Areas
Environmental Audit Committee examines the "Blue Belt" of MPAs around the UK and in Overseas Territories ... read more
Second tranche of MCZs designated
UK government extends the coastal "blue belt" of protected marine areas ... read more
RYA responds to Defra consultation
Representing recreational boaters' interests ... read more
Less than three weeks left to take part in public consultation on second tranche of MCZs ... read more
Consultation opens on new Marine Conservation Zones
Public consultation on the Government’s second tranche of Marine Conservation Zones opened today ... read more
RYA raises concerns over quality of evidence for MCZs
Growing disparity between environmental and socio-economic evidence ... read more
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
Information on MCZs and MPAs for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales