Joint Committee Condemns Commitment to UK Marine Bill

A report released by the Joint Committee on the Marine Bill says that the funding is inadequate and the provisional powers allocated of the representative bodies of the Marine Bill are insufficient.

Lord Greenway, of the Joint Committee, says that the bill must “commit the secretary of state to take action” rather than just “enable change” to take place.

The report recognises recommendations made by the British Ecological Society (BES) and its members, in recommending that the creation of marine reserves be ‘underpinned by [sound] science.’ And Natasha Barker, senior marine policy officer at the WWF echoed the BES response saying that the MMO must have majority responsibility in planning offshore renewable and energy projects. The report also expresses concern over how the Government plans to enlist the support of the devolved administrations – essential for making the bill work.

Whilst the draft Marine Bill may have shortcomings and areas for improvement, it is an incredibly important and essential piece of legislation for the whole of the UK. Therefore it is essential that the government takes on board the recommendations from the report and of the relevant stakeholders, ensuring that the key marine conservation measures are implemented – a central aim of the Marine Bill.

The Joint Committee’s findings can be read here: