Are the provisions to be included within the proposed Maritime Bill of sufficient scope and breadth to provide the necessary protection for the sites of interests to marine nature conservation? Many environmental groups are suggesting that the bill does not go far enough, claiming the “statutory programme of site protection has never caught up with voluntary initiatives,” (S. Gubbay 1995). However, commercial organisations are generally in agreement with the findings of the document. The intention of this report is to study the proposals, together with the various arguments, in an effort to resolve the question.
The seas around the UK provide enjoyment for millions of people as well as many jobs. It is also full of natural resources upon which we have come to depend and, in addition it provides a home for numerous species of marine life and plants and has been a source of natural resources. In their report Laffoley and Baines (2000) further revealed that “It is estimated that 50% of the UK’s biodiversity is found in the seas.” It follows that marine conservation is therefore important to enable us to better understand the affect that human activity has on this environment as well as preserving the benefits of it for the future.
The consultation proposal (2006) seeks to address a number of areas in an attempt to provide a comprehensive framework for marine conservation and providing a situation where the various demands made upon the environment can be managed more effectively. as part of a concerted effort to encourage sustainability against a backdrop of the increasing demands that are being made on our seas and its resources. The five areas, which the proposals concentrate upon, are fisheries management, planning, activity licensing, improving marine nature conservation and the setting up of a new marine management organisation. For the purpose of this report we are concentrating our studies on the improvement of marine nature conservation, with reference to the other factors if and where relevant.
Proposed areas of changes in regulations and law
There are four main areas where the proposals for the Marine Bill are considering the way forward in terms of the imposition of relevant laws or regulations, with particular relevance to marine nature conservation. The response to the Review of Marine Nature Conservation, Safeguarding Sea Life (2005), identified some key areas that needed to be addressed by government. These included stopping the decline and attacks upon the biodiversity in the environment, in a way that would create recovery of these areas; provide more support for ecosystems and sites for conservation of marine species, especially those most in danger; improve water