BASC advises NI government on Marine Planning

Over the last year, BASC has responded to a number of consultations in relation to a Marine Plan for Northern Ireland and the designation of MCZ’s. Over the last year, representatives from the Department’s Marine Division and MCZ Team have met with a number of BASC affiliated wildfowling clubs to provide them with an update with regard to the designation of MCZs and to address any concerns from members. BASC hopes that the Department will continue to engage fully and earnestly with the wildfowling and shooting community at every possible opportunity as the process moves forward. Key dates so far: September 2013 Marine Act (Northern Ireland) 2013 – The NI Marine Bill received Royal Assent giving the Department of the Environment (DoE) new powers to better protect and manage the marine environment in Northern Ireland Inshore Region. November 2013 BASC represented wildfowling interests at a workshop organised by the DoE on the visions and objectives of a Marine Plan for Northern Ireland. January 2014 BASC advised the NI government on marine conservation zones guidance by responding to the Department’s consultation on ‘Draft guidance on selection and designation of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in the Northern Ireland inshore region’. March 2014 Department consulted with regard to ‘Consideration of alternative approaches to the Marine Plan for Northern Ireland’. BASC responded to the consultation on 20th March 2014. September 2014 The Marine Policy Team consulted with stakeholders with regard to ‘Draft legislation to introduce fixed monetary penalties for the enforcement of byelaws protecting Marine Conservation Zones and European Marine Sites’. BASC response - summary BASC believes that all who shoot should conduct themselves according to the highest standards of safety, sportsmanship and courtesy, with full respect for their quarry and a practical interest in wildlife conservation. BASC’s expertise in shooting matters is widely recognised and we are routinely consulted by a variety of government departments and agencies and other non-statutory bodies, for example the Department of Justice, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the NI Forest Service, Queens University Belfast, The National Trust, The Ulster Wildlife Trust and the Ulster Farmers Union. BASC represents a number of BASC-affiliated wildfowling clubs around the coast of NI. Additionally, BASC wildfowling clubs on Strangford Lough, Lough Erne and Lough Foyle administer a permit scheme that facilitates wildfowling by non-club members, including disabled members and an increasing number of ‘shooting tourists’. Many of these clubs lease shooting rights from landowners and estates including the Crown Estate and The Honourable Irish Society. Some clubs own the land that they manage for shooting and regardless of how shooting rights are held, active land management is designed to encourage quarry and other wildlife species. BASC will remain vigilant for any potential threat within pending legislation which might in any way impact the legitimate rights of the NI wildfowling community and to ensure that the cultural, social and economic worth of wildfowling is fully taken into account. BASC notes that the Northern Ireland Better Regulation…

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BASC advises NI government on marine conservation zones

BASC has responded to a consultation on how marine conservation zones (MCZ) will be created and managed in Northern Ireland over the next two years. The consultation was issued by the Department of Environment and ended on 31st January 2014.

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Marine conservation policy changes in Northern Ireland

BASC 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. BASC welcomes any advice or comments people might have on the consultation.

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