||The Government should promote the 'Regional Seas' approach and
the framework for marine nature conservation with the European
Commission, OSPAR and countries bordering on the north-east
||A standard electronic marine and coastal map/chart base should
be established, extending seamlessly across the coastline, which
can be used at a range of scales from the Regional Sea (1:1,000,000
or less) to local level (1:10,000 or greater). Consideration should
be given to a strategic funding mechanism to enable the necessary
||A national marine information network should be established,
based on harmonisation rather than integration. There is likely to
be a key role for a number of institutions and bodies having the
capability of managing data in the long-term, and providing public
access to it, each managing and providing access to specific
datasets to common standards. Data standards should be developed,
where possible jointly with the other countries bordering Regional
Seas and with the European Union, in order to facilitate the
establishment and operation of this system. A mechanism to
co-ordinate this will need to be established.
||All marine data collected with public funds, or as a
consequence of Government or Public agency contracts, should be
held electronically to agreed formats and standards and placed in
the public domain within specified timescales. These data should be
contributed to a national marine information system once
established. Public funds made available to universities, research
institutes or other organisations should be subject to these
||Environmental data collected by the private sector for the
purpose of complying with a regulatory procedure (e.g. for
Environmental Impact Assessment) should be collected to agreed
formats and placed in the public domain within specified
||Improved co-ordination of data collection activities needs to
be achieved, including in relation to research activities, in order
better to meet the needs of society and to make the most efficient
use of available resources. This should include much clearer
identification of the specific data collection responsibilities of
public bodies. In the UK, Defra should take the lead in developing
improved co-ordination, including in relation to liaising with
neighbouring countries. A greater degree of collaboration between
survey organisations should be promoted and encouraged.
||Information on the sources, availability, extent and attributes
of datasets (comprehensive metadata) for the marine environment
needs to be easily and widely accessible.
||To achieve successful application of the ecosystem approach,
international and national policy and legislation should support,
and not frustrate, the achievement of strategic goals for the
marine environment. Incentives and subsidies which encourage or
support unsustainable impacts on ecosystems should be avoided. For
example, and in particular, efforts should continue to mitigate the
adverse effects of EU fishing incentives and replace them by
incentives which promote the restoration of fish stocks, support
responsible fishing practice, and encourage the diversification
into other, sustainable, uses of the marine environment.
||Action to co-ordinate and rationalise marine environmental
monitoring, and the monitoring of human impacts on the environment,
should be completed and extended. Monitoring programmes need to
address the requirement to assess the state of our seas.
Co-ordination of monitoring with adjacent countries through inter
alia the development of agreed standards and of data sharing should
also be pursued.
||A system of biogeographical Regional Seas should be developed
for the north-east Atlantic by the relevant countries in
conjunction with the EU and OSPAR. A good starting point would be
the system suggested for UK waters.
||The biogeographical Regional Seas referred to in R10 should be
considered as a basis for strategic planning and management of
national and adjacent waters. It may be desirable to combine some
biogeographic regional sea areas into larger areas which are
administratively better suited for such strategic planning and
||Consideration should be given to the establishment of fora at
the Regional Sea level to improve co-ordination and collaboration
in management planning, data collection, survey and research.
||The biogeographic Regional Seas can be used to guide the
selection of Special Areas of Conservation under the EC Habitats
Directive, and the prospective marine protected areas selected
under OSPAR Annex V, to ensure the necessary representation of
geographical and ecological variation in the development of
ecologically-coherent site networks.
||The marine landscape approach should be adopted as a key
element for marine nature conservation and utilised in the spatial
planning and management of the marine environment. The approach
should take account of broadscale marine habitat information, as
this information becomes available over time. In coastal and
estuarine waters the approach should seek to complement that taken
under the Water Framework Directive (in relation to typology and
reference conditions) at a more detailed level.
||A list of internationally-agreed marine landscapes for the
north-east Atlantic should be developed. It is suggested that the
list identified for the Irish Sea be expanded to include landscapes
not found in the Irish Sea and further refined as necessary. Work
to complete the mapping of these marine landscapes in the
north-east Atlantic should be undertaken in collaboration with
||The methodology for sensitivity and vulnerability of marine
landscapes should be further developed and refined, having due
regard to relevant standards being developed in relation to the
Water Framework Directive. It should be recognised that for
purposes of local spatial planning, these assessments should be
enhanced using the additional biological information which is
available in inshore and coastal environments.
||The criteria for the identification of nationally-important
marine features, as modified and shown in Appendix 4, should be
adopted by the UK subject to any refinement that may be needed
following further discussion with other countries through EU and
OSPAR. The upper and lower ends of the range of
nationally-important features should be marine landscapes and
species respectively, but the scale at which habitats are selected
should be left to judgement in the light of relevant
||Further work should be carried out to determine which
nationally-important features may require specific Action Plans. A
single national process, including work undertaken under the UK
Biodiversity Action Plan in relation to marine features, should be
operated in the identification of nationally-important features and
of the action needed to meet their conservation requirements.
||An ecologically-coherent network of nationally-important areas
for the Regional Sea should be identified using the criteria set
out in Appendix 5, and the principles set out in this Report.
Proportionate and relevant measures should be taken to protect
these areas from harm as a result of human activities.
||In the selection of nationally-important areas, for those
marine landscapes where there are sufficient data available,
representativity and biodiversity criteria should be applied and
'best examples' identified. Using best available information, areas
qualifying under critical area or nationally-important features
criteria should be identified as far as possible.
||For data-poor (normally offshore) areas, GIS data should be
collated to allow a broadscale scoring of areas against the
naturalness and biodiversity criteria. A marine landscape
classification is necessary to use as a surrogate for more detailed
ecological data. Marxan can then be used to complete the
identification of a full set of nationally-important areas within
the Regional Sea. This process should take into consideration best
available information on naturalness and typicalness, the
distribution of records of nationally-important marine features,
patterns of biological diversity, and the distribution of marine
||Nationally-important areas for geology and geomorphology in the
marine environment should be identified from present knowledge, and
measures taken to conserve them which are proportionate and
relevant to likely threats from human activities.
||To the extent practicable, conservation measures taken should
be integrated with those taken for the conservation of biological
||Data, information and materials relating to
nationally-important earth science sites should be made widely
||The national strategic goals, objectives and targets for the
marine environment should form the basis for policy guidance and
strategic planning for the marine environment and its sustainable
||The conservation objectives should be integrated into a single,
unified set of national strategic goals and objectives for the
marine environment and its sustainable development.
||A process should be established to identify and set appropriate
targets for each operational conservation objective which are
consistent with achieving international and national commitments
and strategic goals, including implementation of the ecosystem
||The government should identify which of the conservation
objectives and targets should be incorporated for use in the
national marine monitoring programme.
||Effective mechanisms are needed to implement marine spatial
planning out to 200n miles. Mechanisms should include:
i. the introduction of marine spatial planning as a statutory
process involving national planning guidelines, strategic plans at
Regional Sea level and more detailed local plans;
ii. marine spatial planning should cover development and other
sectoral activities both current and proposed;
iii. marine spatial planning should adopt an ecosystem approach and
seek to implement conservation and other sustainable development
iv. placing duties on public bodies to carry out their functions in
accordance with the principles of sustainable development and to
further the achievement of the conservation objectives included in
v. consensus should be built internationally to develop effective
planning and management policies at the Regional Sea scale.
||The seaward limit of Sites of Special Scientific Interest and
Areas of Special Scientific Interest should be defined in law.
||Additional legislation is needed to ensure that an
ecologically-coherent network of nationally-important areas can be
established and conserved. This legislation should require that
such a network be established and should set out the procedures for
doing so. These should be as simple and straightforward as
practicable and seek to replace or complement, rather than overlap,
||The legislation referred to in R31 should include provision for
the preparation of a single management scheme for each area to
ensure the conservation objectives for the area are met. The
legislation should identify the organisation responsible for
co-ordinating the development of the scheme, and a duty should be
placed on the relevant regulatory authorities to carry out their
functions in accordance with the scheme. Where a site crosses
jurisdictions, a management scheme should be developed jointly by
the relevant countries.
||The legislation referred to in R31 should provide for the
effective regulation of potentially damaging activities which could
affect the area adversely.
||The European Commission should clarify the means of achieving
the effective regulation of fishing in nationally-important areas,
including European marine sites, beyond 6n miles, and address the
need for the appropriate assessment of CFP decisions and compliance
with management schemes.
||National legislation should make it an offence to kill, injure
or take any species listed for such protection without the need to
show intent. A defence should be provided in relation to acts
incidental to otherwise lawful operations but this defence should
be removed if available technical measures to reduce such
incidental impacts are not taken.
||The requirement for the Secretary of State and other relevant
Ministers to list species and habitats requiring recovery measures
to be taken for their conservation, and to promote such measures,
should be applied to all national waters.
||Controls over the introduction of marine non-native species
should include measures to provide for adequate containment,
enforcement and the eradication of problem non-native
||The provisions in the Habitats Directive relating to
surveillance of habitats and species of Community importance, and
in relation to regulating the exploitation of Annex V species,
should be transposed into national legislation.
||The application of the Strategic Environmental Assessment
Directive to fisheries and marine transboundary issues should be
clarified. The publication of detailed guidance designed for marine
plans or programmes is required.
||Agreement with the fishing industry should be sought on how
fisheries activities should be defined in plan or programme terms
and on the adoption of a policy to undertake Strategic
Environmental Assessment of fisheries.
||Monitoring of the implementation of plans or programmes should
be made a duty in the Strategic Environmental Assessment
regulations to assess the accuracy of environmental changes
predicted by the Strategic Environmental Assessment process and to
ensure that unexpected impacts have not occurred.
||A statutory approach to surface water quality should be applied
to the whole marine environment. A framework could be based on
extension of aspects of the approach required by the Water
Framework Directive such as measures of ecological quality, the
status and quality of water bodies, and the use of objectives.
||Closer integration of fishing industry and nature conservation
objectives should be developed, including by using an
ecologically-coherent network of protected areas to support
||Small scale, funded, trials of protected areas including
no-take zones should be set up at the Regional Sea scale with the
involvement of the fishing industry. The results of trials
established on fish numbers and population health should be
monitored to assess the costs and potential benefits of protected
areas and no-take zone management mechanisms.
||Regional Advisory Councils should be established, at the
appropriate scale to enable effective stakeholder involvement. The
Councils should have a combined fisheries management and
environmental remit and should be empowered to test Regional Sea
scale fisheries management options developed through cross-sectoral
partnership working. A Regional Advisory Council should be
established for the Irish Sea.
||Adequate conservation measures for non-quota commercial species
should be prepared at national and European levels, including the
identification of protected areas and the setting of safe
biological limits to maintain an ecologically-sustainable fishery
for each stock.
||Proposals for national legislation and a CFP regulation
requiring the use of pingers to protect cetaceans from bycatch
should be enacted, monitored and enforced. Further measures to
limit by-catch of undersize target species and non-target species
should be developed and resources for enforcement should be
increased to ensure the regulations are effective.
||The Community action plan to reduce discarding should be
implemented in full, including within the Irish Sea, to promote the
restoration of damaged stocks.
||The national management of fisheries within the 6-12n mile zone
should be strengthened under new legislation, as is now permitted
by the Common Fisheries Policy, to provide enhanced national
control of such fisheries to address local and regional needs.
Additional powers and resources to implement new management
approaches and improve the enforcement of regulations should be
provided. International co-ordination to develop shared objectives
for such management should be carried out at the Regional Sea
||Integrated planning and management strategies for mariculture
should be prepared throughout the UK which take account of all
impacts such as on fisheries, nature conservation and water
||Measures to implement Marine Environment High Risk Areas should
be brought to a rapid conclusion, and incorporated within the wider
MARPOL Particularly Sensitive Sea Area for Western Europe.
||The accidental introduction of non-native species by ships,
such as via hull fouling, should be researched and options for
||Voluntary partnership, or local bylaw, approaches to regulation
of small motorised craft should be developed with users. A
national, consolidated code of conduct should be established to
prevent disturbance of marine wildlife from noise generated by
||The responsibility for the enforcement of marine nature
conservation legislation should be made explicit. That
responsibility may be different in intertidal and nearshore
situations from that further offshore.
||The authority(ies) responsible for enforcing marine nature
conservation should have, or should have ready access to, the
requisite powers of stop, search, seizure and arrest, and the
necessary vessels, equipment and other resources necessary to carry
out that enforcement effectively.
||Where a number of different organisations are involved in
carrying out marine nature conservation enforcement, new, probably
statutory, collaboration, co-ordination and training measures
should be developed and put in place.
||A co-ordinated national system for recording offences,
incidents and prosecutions in relation to marine nature
conservation should be put in place.
||A detailed investigation should be undertaken to consider the
level of enforcement action necessary to implement existing and
proposed new marine nature conservation legislation, what vessels,
equipment and other resources are required to carry out that
enforcement, and which organisation(s) should have the enforcement
responsibility away from near coast situations. While the Pilot
defers a recommendation on enforcement responsibilities pending the
current Defra review on marine fisheries enforcement arrangements,
it suggests that nature conservation enforcement away from near
shore locations may best be undertaken by those undertaking the
enforcement of fisheries legislation.
||A Cabinet committee or other cross-departmental authority be
established to take overall responsibility for strategic planning
in the marine environment and to develop the necessary links with
other countries to ensure complementary working at the Regional Sea
||R60 In the UK, Defra should take the lead in developing
strategic plans for the Regional Seas in full consultation with
other UK Government Departments and devolved administrations, and
in liaison with relevant other countries.
||To the extent practicable, fisheries, mariculture, marine
pollution and nature conservation should come within the policy
oversight of a single Government Department.
||Following completion of the various reviews being undertaken by
Government on regulatory procedures and on enforcement in the
marine environment, any necessary adjustment be made to existing
||It is recommended that the marine nature conservation framework
as set out under paragraphs 447 to 452 of this Report be adopted
for use in the UK and promoted with other countries in the
north-east Atlantic area.
||Resources should be sought from the relevant national
jurisdictions and statutory agencies, and from the European Union,
to complete the work identified in this report in relation to the
marine nature conservation framework for the Irish Sea, and to
develop detailed proposals for a comprehensive marine spatial
planning framework following a trial of initial proposals on the