The consultation is now closed.
From December 14th 2012 until the 31st March 2013, Defra carried out a consultation to seek views on proposals for designation of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in English inshore and English and Welsh offshore waters.
An ambitious stakeholder-led approach was used to recommend possible MCZs to Government. Four stakeholder-led Regional MCZ Projects were established: Irish Sea Conservation Zones (Irish Sea), Finding Sanctuary (South West waters), Balanced Seas (South East waters) and Net Gain (North Sea) managed by the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies (the SNCBs: Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee). In developing their proposals the Regional MCZ Projects worked to guidance from the SNCBs which provided a detailed set of targets on conservation features for inclusion in the network. The Regional MCZ Projects took potential economic and social impacts into account in making these recommendations and also provided a detailed impact assessment to accompany their site recommendations.
More information on the regional projects and their final recommendation reports are available here.
Natural England and JNCC provided formal advice to Government on the Regional MCZ projects recommendations in July 2012, which are available here. Natural England and JNCC’s formal advice was subsequently amended via a report published in December 2012, which is available here.
Defra has considered all the available above information and the consultation contains proposals for which of the sites they consider are suitable for designation in 2013. Their aim has been to find the right balance between the strength of the conservation advantages an MCZ offers, relative to the socio-economic implications of its likely designation. Whether an MCZ, and all of its features, are suitable for designation in the 2013 tranche depends on the levels of confidence in the scientific evidence and the balance between the sites conservation advantages and the socio-economic costs. Defra is proposing that up to 31 sites are good candidates for designation in 2013.
This Interactive Map can be used to obtain information on all of the MCZs recommended by the Regional MCZ Projects. An additional level of detail is provided for sites that Defra considers good candidates for designation in 2013. More information on Defra’s consultation and how to respond is available here. This includes Defra’s Impact Assessment to support the consultation which provides illustrative examples of potential costs of designating MCZs to the main sectors that use the sea.
The consultation is now closed.
Please click here to download the data for the rMCZ boundaries. Please be careful to read the terms and conditions provided before proceeding with the download.
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