The UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has criticised the Northern Ireland Marine Bill for failing to take shooting interests properly into account.
The Marine Bill has been introduced to improve marine nature conservation. The draft Bill is making its way through the NI Assembly and is currently at the committee stage. BASC Northern Ireland has identified a number of clauses in the Bill which could potentially be used to restrict shooting and other activities in the future. BASC Northern Ireland is working with Countryside Alliance Ireland and has consulted wildfowling clubs and MLAs before responding to the Environment Committee’s call for evidence on the Marine Bill.
BASC Northern Ireland Director Tommy Mayne said: “BASC welcomes the opportunity to submit evidence to the Environment Committee and while we welcome some aspects of the Marine Bill which will benefit marine life and biodiversity, we are greatly concerned about certain clauses within the draft Bill that pose a potential threat to wildfowling and other rural activities. Working jointly with Countryside Alliance Ireland, we have met a number of MLAs to highlight our concerns, and further joint meetings are planned for the weeks ahead. We must remain vigilant and seek to improve the Bill as it makes progress through the Assembly."
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