If you wish to take part in the public consultation on Marine Conservation Zones for designation in 2013 then there are just four weeks left to read the documentation and submit your comments to Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).

The RYA is responding to this public consultation and is focusing on issues of safety of navigation and socio-economics together with impacts on recreational boating amenity.

Individual clubs and members may have additional locally specific points covering a wide range of issues and the RYA would encourage them to provide this information directly to Defra for consideration by Government.

The public consultation closes on 31 March 2013.

31 sites proposed for designation

The consultation seeks views on the 31 sites being recommended for designation in 2013, although Defra would welcome comments on all other sites being considered.

It does not include the management measures that may be introduced if a site is designated. Responses to this consultation therefore are confined only to the proposed site boundaries and the conservation objectives for protected features.  

Defra is also keen to receive general comments, particularly in relation to the approach to proposed highly protected sites - Reference Areas.

How can I take part?

The public consultation is open to everyone who wishes to respond and the full consultation document together with instructions on how to submit comments is available on the Defra website.  

RYA response

Of the 31 sites proposed in the consultation for designation in 2013 the RYA has objections to only one of the sites: the Aln Estuary. This  recommended MCZ contains a small charted anchorage in the one location in which a vessel can stay afloat at all states of the tide in the Estuary and we will be seeking to retain access to this resource.

The RYA does have on-going concerns about a number of other sites being considered for designation at some point in the future and is continuing in its discussions with Defra and the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies (SNCBs) about these and will be highlighting them in its response to this consultation.