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Update - the MCZ decision-making process and timings

Discussion in 'Sea Fishing Forum - Shore, Boat & Kayak Fishing' started by West Cliff Miff, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. West Cliff Miff

    West Cliff Miff Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    Hi all

    I've pursued the MCZ issue some more since I got back. In answer to my further questioning of my contact at the Wildlife Trusts I received the following answer to my question "what is the decision-making process for the MCZ's and the timescales involved?"

    It is quite long and detailed reply, and makes me want to bite my own feet off.


    No problems at all with the questions- it is a complex process but I will do my best to answer your questions- do let me know if you have more though or if something is not clear. At the moment, the following is how we understand the development of management plans for the sites:

    Defra are the policy maker when it comes to Marine Conservation Zones, so they will decide on and designate Marine Conservation Zones and will set the conservation objectives for the features found within the site. Conservation Objectives are the statement of action need to achieve the required ecological state of a feature. If the feature is deemed to be in good ecological status, then a conservation objective of maintain is set. If it is at a low ecological status, a conservation objective of recover is set.

    In this consultation, Defra have outlined the conservation objectives proposed for each feature within each site recommended for designation this year. The final conservation objectives will then be published for the sites proposed for designation this year, as part of the Defra published response to the consultation. They are looking at designating the sites by the end of the year and setting management plans after this point.

    So basically, by the end of the year, Defra will have designated up to 31 new Marine Conservation Zones and set associated Conservation Objectives for the features found within each site that the MCZ has been designated for. It is then the duty of the relevant public authority to determine the management measures needed to protect these features. These public authorities are primarily the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCA) for inshore waters (and the Environment Agency for estuarine) and the Marine Management Organisation for offshore waters. They will set management plans, likely through a mixture of bylaws, licensing activity and voluntary measures and will set them after advice from the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies, taking into account the sensitivity of the features within the site and the Conservation Objectives for the feature.

    The final decision on designation of the sites lies with the Secretary of State (so Richard Benyon and ultimately Owen Paterson) but this decision will come from a recommendation made by the marine team in Defra, following advice from the SNCBs (NE and JNCC) and taking into account the responses to the consultation. It is then up to individual IFCAs, the EA and the MMO enforcement team to set management plans. So a wide range of people are involved in the decision making and implementation process.

    I hope this makes sense- I’m not sure I have explained it that well so please do come back to me if not. Thanks and Best wishes"

    So that's made things nice and clear then.

    I guess it's what Glenn's said along, we need to get involved in the consultation (end of March deadline) and lobby NEIFCA.

    I don't suppose anyone knows anyone who is mates with Richard Benyon? Does he even have any mates?
  2. Easy Yakker

    Easy Yakker simply messing about in boats

    The more published on this site about the MCZs the less threatening they seem to be for anglers. Conservation Objectives seem to be the key to how sites will be managed and for Runswick these can be found here: publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/2083517
    Most of them seem to relate to the geology of the area, but it is interesting that £382,000 of fish is taken from this area each year by commercial fishing (compared with £1.23 million from the Holderness rMCZ).

    "Commercial fishing occurs within the rMCZ by UK under and over 15 metre vessels. Estimated total value of landings for the site is £0.382m/yr. The majority of this value can be attributed to vessels using bottom trawls (£0.154m/yr) and pots and traps (£0.212 m/yr), with smaller value of landings from vessels using nets, hooks and lines within the site (MCZ Fisheries Model, 2011)."

    This document on Conservation Objectives also notes that:

    "No additional management (above that in the baseline situation) of fishing activities is expected. As such, no benefits are expected to accrue as a result of reduced fishing mortality."

    So it seems a good idea to lobby NEIFCA and support this MCZ based on the proposed Conservation Objectives.
  3. Woodsmanuk

    Woodsmanuk @woodsmanuk

    Nicely put Easy Yakker.
  4. oddjob

    oddjob Blenny

    Dear Sir/Madam..

    i have just seen plans for conservation zones between sandsend just north of whitby and port mulgrave, please could you clarify if i can still fish in these areas from the shore. All information i have seen and read is quite worrying and unless you're a marine biologist and i find it hard to make sence of the amount of information available.

    can i fish from these areas with a rod and line from the shore or pleasure boat and please keep the answers simple?


    Dear Sir or Madam

    Decisions on how to manage sites after they are designated will be a matter for the appropriate regulatory body, such as the Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authorities or the Marine Management Organisation. Such decisions will be made after a site is designated and are not specifically considered in this consultation. The management measures noted in the Impact Assessment are for illustrative purposes and to allow for the calculation of a range of potential cost implications for each site.

    When an MCZ is designated, it does not automatically mean that economic or recreational activities in that site will be restricted. Any such restrictions will depend on the sensitivity of species, habitats and other features (for which a site is designated) to the activities taking place. Only those activities that are identified as having a negative impact on the conservation objectives for the features within the site will be managed. Where activities are not damaging to the features within the site, they will not need to be restricted, subject to normal licensing and management conditions.


    MCZ Team

    makes it a whole lot simpler eh?? :crazy:
  5. ingoe1

    ingoe1 Rockling

    That roughly translates into ask someone who gives a fook my pay goes into the bank every month.

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