Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 10th February 2010.

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Photo of Richard Younger-Ross Richard Younger-Ross Shadow Culture, Media and Sport Minister

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects the provisions of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 establishing Special Areas of Conservation and Marine Conservation Zones to enter into force.

Photo of Huw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Marine and Natural Environment)

Part 5 of the Act (Nature Conservation) commenced in England on 12 January 2010. On this date Lundy Island, originally designated as a Marine Nature Reserve under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, automatically became our first MCZ. The Government have asked the statutory nature conservation bodies to come forward with advice by autumn 2011 on sites to be designated as Marine Conservation Zones. They will then consult interested parties in 2012 before taking final decisions on designation later in that year.

Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) are designated under the provisions of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 and the Offshore Marine Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 2007, which transpose the EC habitats and wild birds directives, not under the Marine and Coastal Access Act.

Under these directives, member states are required to nominate sites to the European Commission. The Government expect to nominate an additional 10 SACs, and two further Special Protection Areas under the wild birds directive, to the Commission in October 2010. Stakeholders are consulted on the scientific case before nominations are put forward to the Commission.

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