Collecting decoys after morning wildfowling Credit John Graham?The UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), has welcomed a decision by the Welsh Government to withdraw proposals for highly protected marine conservation zones that would have banned wildfowling by default. BASC has run a campaign to ensure that wildfowling will continue in any designated area.

If proposals for highly protected MCZs had gone ahead, it would have meant that a wide range of traditional activities such as wildfowling, angling, collecting shellfish and even beachcombing could have been banned in every site created regardless of whether there was any adverse impact of such activities on the habitats and species being protected.

The proposals, which were consulted on last year, have been withdrawn in favour of a more proportionate and evidence based approach so that the level of protection and site management will be determined on a site by site basis.

Conor O’Gorman BASC’s policy development manager said: “Effective conservation measures need to engage and inspire local people to make a difference in their area and we applaud the Welsh Government for listening to those views. We are grateful to everyone who took the time to voice their concerns during our campaign.”

A revised method of MCZ selection and designation in Wales will now take place and is due to be completed by 2016.

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