asked Her Majesty's Government:
What plans they have to extend the existing special conservation areas and marine conservation zones in order to improve marine protection in United Kingdom territorial waters.
The proposed Marine Bill will provide the necessary mechanisms to complete our network of marine protected areas, by allowing marine conservation zones to be designated for features of national importance. These sites, together with existing and new European sites (special areas of conservation and special protection areas), will form a network of marine protected areas in UK waters.
Our nature conservation agencies are in the process of identifying additional inshore special areas of conservation (SAC) in United Kingdom territorial waters. It is expected that their recommendations for possible inshore sites will be made this year. We are committed to completing an ecologically coherent network of marine protected areas by 2012.