Clause 117 — Grounds for designation of MCZs

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 9:45 pm on 26th October 2009.

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Photo of Paddy Tipping Paddy Tipping Labour, Sherwood 9:45 pm, 26th October 2009

I am grateful that the Minister has put that point on the record, because it reinforces the importance of science in the designation of MCZs. I hope that she will ensure that the four regional areas that will make MCZ proposals will look closely at her words, because a discussion of the Irish sea regional project said:

"The project must balance protection with the interests of commercial fishing, shipping, oil and gas extraction, the aggregates industry"- and so on. That does not imply, however, that it should be science and the designation of the marine landscape that is most important. Will the Minister ensure that her words are heard by the regional bodies? In particular, will she make it clear that any draft guidance that goes to those bodies is just that-draft? I understand that the guidance on designation will be released in March next year, but not in draft form. These are important issues of great sophistication, and to issue edicts from on high without further discussion will not be helpful. However, I am grateful that the importance of science has been stressed tonight and placed firmly on the record.

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