The Government will shortly be issuing a public consultation on Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in England; it is anticipated in mid- December 2012 and will run for 12 weeks (including the Christmas and New Year period).

The designation of MCZs around the coast of England has the potential to impact on recreational boating and the forthcoming consultation document is anticipated to provide more information on how, when and where.

The RYA has been engaged on the issue of MCZs for some time now, assisted by many volunteers and clubs across the country.

Information on the Marine Conservation Zone process and the RYA’s involvement can be found here.

A fundamental point of concern for the RYA (and indeed most stakeholders) with regard to the consultation is the intention for management measures to not to be included in the forthcoming consultation.

Although detail will be included on: the proposed site boundaries, the features within those boundaries to be protected and conservation objectives for each of those, no detail beyond examples of what this may entail will be included for the management of each site.

In the absence of this detail the RYA will still respond highlighting our concerns for recreational boating on a site-by-site basis and will be objecting to any site of concern until such time as we understand the implications of designation.

Details of the public consultation and how you can get involved will be published on the RYA website as soon as the consultation opens.

Caroline Price, RYA Planning and Environment Advisor