Effectiveness, Efficiency & Weakness of Enforcement in the UK Marine Environment: Responses to Questionnaire
Boyes, S., & Elliott, M.
© Defra 2003


The interim report of the UK Government's Review of Marine Nature Conservation Working Group was submitted to Ministers in March 2001.  One of the key recommendations of the Working Group was the promotion of a Pilot Scheme, at a regional scale, to test a proposed 'framework' for nature conservation and examine how far the conservation management needed to implement this framework could be delivered through existing legal, administrative and enforcement systems.  The Irish Sea was chosen as the area for this Pilot Scheme.  One of the key tasks of this Pilot is to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of current governance and enforcement regimes in implementing current legislation relevant to marine nature conservation in the UK, and make recommendations for improvements.
A number of enforcement agencies cover different purposes e.g. fisheries protection, and shipping and while it may be realistic for existing agencies to enforce nature conservation legislation in the intertidal zone and close to the shore, it is beyond the capacity for nature conservation agencies or the police to enforce the legislation offshore.  The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) has commissioned the Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies (IECS) to review the nature of existing enforcement in the marine environment, by using a questionnaire designed to:
  • seek the views of relevant enforcement agencies on their effectiveness, efficiency and weaknesses of their enforcement powers in relation to nature conservation objectives.


This report outlines the findings of a questionnaire circulated to a number of bodies with responsibility for enforcement and administration of marine legislation in the marine environment.  A more detailed account of enforcement within the marine environment can be found in a report entitled Regulatory Responsibilities & Enforcement Mechanisms Relevant to Marine Nature Conservation in the UK (Boyes et al, 2003).


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Please cite as: Boyes, S., & Elliott, M., (2003), Effectiveness, Efficiency & Weakness of Enforcement in the UK Marine Environment: Responses to Questionnaire