DEFRA Consultation on the Draft Marine Bill

An encouraging step forward has been made regarding the proetction of the UK marine environment with today’s release of the draft marine bill, on which DEFRA is consulting. The aims of the marine bill at this stage include:

  • proposals to create a network of marine reserves in order to protect endangered species and habitats around England’s coastline
  • setup of Marine Management Organisation by government to deliver objectives for marine environment
  • fisheries management and marine enforcement

Environment Minister Hilary Benn has stated that: “Our proposals will raise protection and management of our seas to a new level, halting the decline in biodiversity to create clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas.”

BES members are invited to comment on the draft bill. The deadline for responses to the consultation is 26 June 2008.