15th December 2011
Written Answer from the Minister of the Environment
Marine Conservation Zones
Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster):
To ask the Minister of the Environment whether Marine Conservation Zones
will be introduced as part of the Marine Bill; and what targets will be set.
Minister of the Environment: The Marine Bill will provide for a new
national designation process for the establishment of Marine Conservation
Zones (MCZs) in Northern Ireland’s territorial waters to enhance protection
for nationally important marine wildlife and habitats.
flexible designation process will complement the existing site designation
and protection measures for European marine sites.
Department is committed to having a network of effectively managed Marine
Protected Areas (MPAs) in place by 2020, comprising European marine sites
be an important contribution to the achievement of Good Environmental
Status. This is required under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive by
2020 and will ensure that marine ecosystems continue to provide economic and