Marine Protected Areas

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 2nd November 2015.

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Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Labour, Exeter

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of progress on achieving an ecologically-coherent network of marine protected areas in UK seas.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government is committed to creating a Blue Belt of Marine Protected Areas around our coast. In February 2014 the Joint Nature Conservation Committee published an assessment of remaining gaps in the Marine Protected Area network in the waters for which the Secretary of State is responsible (around England and offshore waters of Wales and Northern Ireland). It can be viewed at: http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/pdf/140224_BigGapsMethod_v8.pdf).

This analysis is being updated, and will be published in due course.

I have also recently consulted on designating a second tranche of Marine Conservation Zones in English waters.

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