Wednesday, 16 September 2009

WAG unveils Marine Conservation Zones

The coasts of Wales are undeniably beautiful, they also support nearly 100,000 jobs and are worth £2.5 billion to the economy said WAG Environment Minister Jane Davidson, outlining plans to create new Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ).

Powers from the Marine and Coastal Access Bill, give Welsh Ministers the ability to create these zones to protect nationally important habitats and species.

"We want our seas to be clean, healthy and biologically diverse," Ms Davidson said. "They must be managed sensibly and responsibly for the sake of our economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing."

The MCZ Project Wales will now look into and recommend sites for designation as MCZs.

Roger Thomas, Chief Executive of the Countryside Council for Wales, said: "
Our marine environment has been heavily used over many decades. We warmly welcome the Assembly Government’s Strategy, which recognises the role of marine protected areas in safeguarding marine ecosystems. It provides real hope that this precious resource can become more resilient to pressures such as climate change and exploitation into the future.

You can read more in this Welsh Assembly consultation document: Protecting Welsh Seas - A draft strategy for marine protected areas in Wales

Photograph: Welsh Icons Flickr Group, Ilovebagpuss.


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