To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will put in place supporting measures for fishermen not permitted to fish in ancestral grounds following the entry into force of the provisions of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 establishing Special Areas of Conservation and Marine Conservation Zones.
Special Areas of Conservation (SACS) are not designated as a result of the provisions in the Marine and Coastal Access Act. They are created through the Habitats Regulations 1994 and Offshore Marine Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 2007, transposing the EC Habitats Directive. Fishing activity is not necessarily entirely prohibited in these areas, or in Marine Conservation Zones.
We want to work with the industry to minimise the impact of designations on fishing activity, and to develop a package of mitigation and adaptation support. There are real opportunities for the fishermen affected to be involved in this work. The European Fisheries Fund offers opportunities for financial support to the industry in order to assist with adaptation. Additionally, the Sustainable Access to Inshore Fisheries Project aims to set out proposals for long term sustainability in the fleet later this year.