British Overseas Territories: Environment Protection

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 24 November 2015.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell NATO Parliamentary Assembly UK Delegation

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent progress has been made on establishing marine protection zones in British Overseas Territories; and whether each such zone will require the consent of that Territory's national assembly prior to its creation.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Overseas Territory Governments are constitutionally responsible for the management of their marine resources, therefore any additional marine protection will have to be agreed, and implemented, by the Territory. In addition to the existing Marine Protected Area designations around South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands, the British Indian Ocean Territory and the British Antarctic Territory, we intend to designate the world’s largest contiguous no-take marine protection area around Pitcairn, and are working with Ascension Island to close at least 50 percent of their waters to fishing activities. For other Territories we are at an early stage of scoping whether further marine protection measures are desirable and scientifically justified.

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