Monday 15 November 2010
Marine and Coastal Access Act: One year on
The Wildlife Trusts urge Government to show its commitment
On the first anniversary of the passing of the Marine and Coastal Access Act (MCAA), The Wildlife Trusts is calling on Government to make a statement demonstrating it is still committed to establishing a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
The announcement of the MCAA in November 2009 was a major step towards securing a healthy future for the UK’s marine life, but its implementation is now the key issue. It is vital that an ecologically coherent network of MPAs is established if our seas are to recover from past decline.
Joan Edwards, head of Living Seas for The Wildlife Trusts, said: “The passing of the Act was a spur to action, and we launched our vision for Living Seas soon afterwards, outlining our recommendations for how the Act should be implemented to secure a healthy future for marine wildlife.
“This is not the time to rest on our laurels. The decisions made, and actions taken, over the next four years will be critical, and could ultimately determine the future of the UK’s seas. Important steps have already been taken, such as Defra’s announcement this summer of 15 new Special Areas of Conservation. But we still have a long way to go to establish an ecologically coherent network of MPAs.
“At this milestone, we are calling upon Government to make a clear statement of their commitment to the network, and that the establishment of this network will not be based upon socio-economic factors.”
The Wildlife Trusts