Clause 117 — Grounds for designation of MCZs

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 9:30 pm on 26th October 2009.

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Photo of Katy Clark Katy Clark Labour, North Ayrshire and Arran 9:30 pm, 26th October 2009

It would be of great assistance; I appreciate the Minister's comments.

Coast proposes that the whole bay should be considered as a conservation zone. At the moment, there is only a no-take zone in part of the bay. To assist hon. Members, a no-take zone basically means that there can be no fishing, whereas in some marine conservation zones fishing is allowed in particular circumstances. Lamlash bay is the first zone of its type in Scotland. We have already heard about the experience on Lundy, where there has been an MCZ since 1993.

This is not a problem for Britain alone-it is worldwide. Similar debates are taking place in countries throughout the world. South Africa has already taken the decision to designate 20 per cent. of its territorial waters as marine protected areas. I understand that it has already achieved 18 per cent. In Australia 40,000 square miles of the great barrier reef are designated as a marine reserve. Country after country have taken steps in that direction, but we have been slow to go down that path. The Bill is a significant development, and I welcome the fact that we will soon be getting legislation on the matter.

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