DEFRA have announced 41 new Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ) in UK waters. The new protected areas include two new MCZs in the Northern Ireland offshore region – South Rigg and Queenie Corner. While the expansion of the UK MCZ network is welcome, effective management of all our protected sites is crucial to their success. For more information on the 41 designations click here.
The North Channel Special Area of Conservation (SAC) has been formally designated as of Febuary 2019. The SAC has been designated for the protection of harbour porpoise.
More information can be found on the JNCC website.
(Image Source: JNCC)
Presentations from the 2018 Environment Week – Natural Capital Conference
Click the title slides below to view the presentations from the 2018 Environment Week – Natural Capital Conference.
NIMTF ‘Exploring a Blue Brexit’
Click the link below to view our recent talk at Queens University, Belfast on ‘Exploring a Blue Brexit’.
The UK Fisheries Bill: how will Northern Ireland’s waters be managed?
Today at Westminster a new Fisheries Bill was published. The Northern Ireland Marine Task Force and Nature Matters NI, which represent more than 100,000 members, welcome the introduction of the new legislation by the UK Government.
With Brexit less than 6 months away, the Bill sets out a potential pathway for sustainable fishing in the UK. While the objectives on the face of the bill are strong, the mechanisms to make it happen set out in the bill are only currently applicable to England.
Commenting on the content of the new fisheries legislation, Dr Jade Berman, Living Seas Manager said:
‘We welcome the strong principles in the new bill such as the sustainability and precautionary objectives, however without a functioning executive, it remains unclear how these will apply to Northern Ireland in the future.’
The last substantial review of Northern Ireland Fisheries legislation was in 1966, when sustainable practices were not seen as core to the future of the industry. This legislation needs to be brought up to date and into the future, building on our shared knowledge.
The new bill creates the potential for the UK, including Northern Ireland, to become world leaders in sustainable fishing and preserving the long–term health of our marine environment. We welcome mechanisms in the bill that commit to working with devolved administrations to create a more successful and sustainable fishing sector.
Further commenting on behalf of the coalition, Dr Kenneth Bodles, RSPB said:
‘Fishing works much better under a common framework. This bill offers an opportunity for the four UK countries to co–design a new fisheries policy that supports sustainable fishing alongside a healthy marine environment.’
We are calling on the relevant authorities in Northern Ireland to grasp this opportunity to work together on fisheries management and improve the health of our seas for all. It is vital that the people of Northern Ireland who care for our seas and the livelihoods which depend on them also have a say in the future of our sea.
NIMTF & Nature Matters NI Fisheries White Paper Consultation Response
The NIMTF & Nature Matters NI have submitted a joint response to the DEFRA consultation on “Sustainable fisheries for future generations” (Fisheries White Paper). Click here to read our response in full.