Proposed marine nature conservation framework
The marine nature conservation framework proposed
considers the sea at five scales:
. The whole sea from high watermark to the
limits of UK jurisdiction, should be maintained in a healthy
. Ecologically distinct 'regional
'. The Irish Sea would be one such Regional Sea. The map
shows possible regional seas around the UK
. Marine Landscapes
within regional seas
should be identified in terms of areas of discrete seabed,
landform, substrate type or water column feature
. Habitats and Species which were both
nationally-important and potentially sensitive to human activities
would be the subject of special measures.
. Specific areas of national importance
maintenance of marine biodiversity within regional seas and marine
landscapes will be identified; including areas necessary to sustain
nationally-important habitats or species populations.
For each of the above five components, the framework proposes
that objectives will be set taking account of stakeholder views.
The sectoral authorities responsible for regulating marine
activities will endeavour to achieve these objectives as they carry
out their functions.
The proposed marine nature conservation framework is set
within the wider context of the Government's policies on
sustainable development, and, in particular, the Marine Stewardship
Report launched in May 2002. In consequence, objectives set under
the framework should be compatible with meeting the needs of
people, (for food, employment, energy, minerals, transport,
recreation and enjoyment, as well as for wildlife), both now and in
the future. This means having due regard to the needs of a range of
national stakeholders and local communities.
In its later stages the pilot project will assess whether the
current mechanisms of regulation, regulatory responsibility and
enforcement in the marine environment are adequate to deliver these
objectives and, if not, what measures could be taken to achieve
this. It will then make recommendations about whether the proposed
marine nature conservation framework needs to be modified or
refined before being adopted for future use in other Regional Seas,
and on other changes that may be needed to ensure the framework can
be implemented effectively.
The orginal framework proposal trailled by the Irish Sea Pilot
is set out in Laffoley et al, 2000
, available on the