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Old 01 December 2009, 11:16   #1
Country: UK - England
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Finding Sanctuary: Planning Marine Conservation Zones in the south-west

The Marine and Coastal Access Act introduces a new national designation for marine protection - Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs). MCZs must be identified and designated in the seas around England, to help create a coherent network of marine protected areas by 2012. New Marine Conservation Zones and existing designations including European Marine Sites, Marine Nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest, will make up the network of marine protected areas.

No Marine Conservation Zones have been proposed yet but recreational boating is one the activities that could be restricted in certain ways by MCZs. For example, anchoring could be restricted within some areas in order to protect certain habitats, or the use of personal watercraft could be restricted seasonally in areas where sensitive wildlife occurs. Therefore it is important that you know how you can influence these decisions now, before they have been made.

Four projects have been set up around England to work with recreational boaters and other sea users to decide where these zones should go and what level of protection they should have. These projects are: Finding Sanctuary in the south-west, Balanced Seas in the south-east, Net Gain for the North Sea and Irish Sea Conservation Zones for the Irish Sea.

In the south-west, Finding Sanctuary has brought together leisure boaters, divers, commercial fishermen, sea anglers, conservationists, scientists and many other marine stakeholders on its Steering Group. Peter Bartlett, from the Royal Yachting Association represents recreational boaters on the Steering Group. The Steering Group is responsible for drawing the lines on maps – deciding where MCZs should be placed and what level of protection they should have. The level of protection given to each MCZ will be decided on a case by case basis. The Steering Group will make its recommendations to Government in June 2011 and the final decision lies with the Ministers.

Beth Henshall, Finding Sanctuary’s recreational boating liaison officer, has recently begun collecting information from recreational boaters about which areas they visit, so that we can create a map of recreational boating activity around the south-west. Accurate information about where you visit in the region is essential. This is the information that your representative on the Finding Sanctuary Steering Group will use to stand up for your interests during the negotiations, with the aim of minimising the impact of MCZs on your activity.

Over the coming months Beth will be engaging as many recreational boaters as possible across the region. As you can imagine, this is a big undertaking for one person, so it has been necessary to start in one location and work methodically along the coastline. Consequently, her work recently began in the wider Plymouth area, and has started to move around the coastline towards the Yealm, Salcombe and Dartmouth areas. Please be assured that all of the coastline of the southwest will be covered, but it may be that the focus of research does not reach your local area until the New Year. She is approaching as many clubs, sea schools, training centres, charter companies, sailing charities, marinas, mooring associations, boat yards, and dry storage locations as possible, to let them know about the project, and ask them to inform their customers/students/members. As well as direct engagement with leisure boaters, over the coming months we will submit articles to key boating publications as well as newsletters sent by marinas, yacht havens, dry storage, mooring associations and estuary forums to make sure people know about how they can get involved.

If you are a recreational boater using the sea in the south-west, we are asking you to share your information about which areas of sea are important to you.

There are three ways you can do this:
1. Visit our Interactive Map
2. Contact Finding Sanctuary’s recreational boating liaison officer, Beth Henshall at beth.henshall@southwestfoodanddrink.com who will meet with you and help you to map the areas which are important to you.
3. Join us at one of our drop in days around the south-west over the next few months for more information, to ask questions or record the sea areas you use on our maps. New dates and venues for drop in days are being added frequently and are detailed on the News section of our website.

We will try to check back here from time to time, but if you have any questions, suggestions or concerns please get in touch with us directly.

Finding Sanctuary
Email: info@finding-sanctuary.org
Tel: 01392 878 340

If you want to contact any of the other regional projects their details are below.

Balanced Seas
Email: balancedseas@kent.ac.uk
Tel: 01227 827 839

North Sea
Net Gain
Email: info@yhsg.co.uk
Tel: 01482 382 007

Irish Sea
Irish Sea Conservation Zones
Email: info@irishseaconservation.org.uk
Tel: 01925 813 200

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Old 01 December 2009, 11:17   #2
Country: UK - England
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Drop in day dates

If you are a leisure boater, fisherman, charter boat operator, sea angler, diver or have an interest in marine wildlife, come along to one of the Finding Sanctuary drop-in days. New dates are being added all the time across the south-west.

Totnes Drop In Day
Wednesday 2nd December 2009, 10am - 8pm
The Mansion, Fore Street, Totnes, TQ9 5RP

David Murphy, Finding Sanctuary’s liaison officer for Devon said: “Marine Conservations Zones (MCZs) are being introduced through the Marine and Coastal Access Act and are coming soon. At Finding Sanctuary, we believe that the people and groups that could be affected by the MCZs should be involved in deciding where they are located and how they are managed. We are working on behalf of everyone to achieve the best possible outcome for MCZs, both in terms of conservation and people’s livelihoods and leisure interests. However, we can only achieve this if sea users come and tell us what they think.”

Successful Finding Sanctuary drop-in days have already been held at Looe, Padstow, Exmouth, Ilfracombe and Newlyn, with further drop-in days currently being planned for Falmouth, Plymouth, Bude, Weymouth and other towns in the south-west.

To find out more call Sarah McLintock on 01392 878 340/07544 590 294, email sarah.mclintock@southwestfoodanddrink.com or visit our website.

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Old 01 December 2009, 11:31   #3
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For anyone who's also in a dive club, if you can't make the drop in days feel free to PM me - I'm a diver liason person for this so can either arrange a time to get together or pass your details on to your local person.

I'm afraid I haven't been particularly active so far but I do think this is really important, even if you aren't bothered about all this stuff it may well bite you on the a** if places get closed off completely.

Gaffa tape is like the Force.. it has a dark side, a light side, and holds the universe together
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Old 01 December 2009, 17:52   #4
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Remember there are two sides to every argument:

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Old 02 December 2009, 05:18   #5
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conservation area

you have not given email or phone number
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Old 02 December 2009, 06:52   #6
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How far east does the South West area extend? Into what area does the Solent/IoW area fall?

Dust creation specialist
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Old 02 December 2009, 07:16   #7
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Hi Ian, the Solent/IoW area fall under the Balanced Seas project. There is a map here showing which areas each project covers.
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Old 02 December 2009, 12:36   #8
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Originally Posted by CJL View Post
Remember there are two sides to every argument:

Am I missing the argument. After cutting through the civil servant gobbledygook on the EA site - it looked at first glance that you were on the same side?
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