Marine conservation policy changes in Northern Ireland

Strangford Lough 1 320BASC is reviewing draft guidance that will be used to create marine conservation zones (MCZ) in Northern Ireland over the next two years.  A consultation on the guidance closes on 31st January.

Click here for the consultation

Please click here to email BASC any advice or comments you have on the guidance. Alternatively please phone the BASC NI office on 028 9260 5050.

BASC’s view on the consultation

BASC is broadly supportive of the proposals and welcomes the Department of Environment’s (DoE) intentions to engage with a wide range of stakeholders and recreational users.

However, BASC will remain vigilant for any issues in the draft guidance which have the potential to impact on wildfowling or access to wildfowling and related activities.  BASC will continue to work with the department to ensure that the cultural, social and economic worth of wildfowling are fully taken into account.

BASC’s view on MCZs

BASC welcomes the creation of MCZs to help vulnerable marine species and habitats that cannot be protected by existing designations such as Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation. The creation of MCZs is part of the UK’s international commitment to create a coherent marine protected network.

Find out more

Over the past two years, BASC NI has engaging with DoE, partner organisations and its members on proposals for the management of marine conservation in NI.  Plans to create a Marine Management Organisation have been dropped and the NI Marine Bill was amended to take into account the social, economic and cultural needs of a wide range of stakeholders.  The Marine Act (Northern Ireland) 2013 received Royal Assent on 17th September 2013.

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