The four English Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) projects have now
submitted their final recommendations for MCZs and Reference Areas (RA)
to Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC).
reports containing the final recommendations represent the end of more
than two years of intensive work with stakeholders to identify areas
around England which should be considered for MCZ or RA designation in
order to provide some protection to the resident flora and fauna.
regional project teams have worked with stakeholder groups comprised of
regional representatives from the fishing industry, conservation
organisations, recreational boating - the RYA, aquaculture, MOD and many
others. They have been supported by local representatives who have fed
in local information and knowledge throughout the process.
recommendations do not propose what management measures may be best
suited to any particular zone in order to provide protection to the
species and habitats. Likely management measures have been discussed by
stakeholders, including relevant enforcement authorities such as the
IFCAs and MMO.
These likely management measures have been
developed for use in the Impact Assessment, but more definitive
management measures will come later in the process as the recommended
MCZs and RAs work their way through Government leading to the
The reports will
now be considered by Natural England and the JNCC over the coming
months and they will submit a final combined list of recommended sites
in England to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(Defra) later this year.
Ministers will then consider the proposals and advice from Natural
England and JNCC and make a decision on which sites should be subject to
a formal public consultation process planned for spring 2012.