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.

Alert me about debates like this

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

I will listen very carefully to what the Minister has to say at the end of the debate, but I agree that it is a great shame that we have such a short time to debate these issues. It is a complete underestimation of their importance. I will keep my comments relatively brief to enable other Members to come in.

Marine diversity is not about one particular type of fauna, flora or fish. We are facing a situation in which our whole marine ecosystem is under threat. We have to recognise the scale of the problem not just by passing the Bill but in the steps that we take thereafter, to ensure that we get a network of marine conservation zones to protect the whole marine ecosystem.

Often, steps are taken to provide protection for fashionable types of creature, and some of the most important types of ecosystem might be protected, but the reality is that the world we live in and the marine environment are interlinked and interwoven. The consequences of the ecosystem deteriorating are significant for all of us. We debate climate change and other environmental issues regularly, but we often do not give marine life the attention that it deserves. Unless we ensure that we have a significant network of marine reserves, we will all be under threat.

I will listen carefully to what the Minister says. I would like an explanation of why the Government believe the amendment is not necessary, and I want assurances that this Government or any future Minister will be able to do whatever they can under the Bill's current wording. Many of us feel that the amendment would be a significant improvement and extend the range of circumstances in which an MCZ could be created.

Embed this video

Copy and paste this code on your website