Evidence submitted in response to this Consultation
Marine Protected Area (MPA) is the collective term for all forms of protected nature conservation sites in the marine and coastal environment. Sites can be designated under domestic, European and international legislation. MPAs can have different levels of restriction, for example, No Take Zones where many activities are prohibited, through to multi-use MPAs where lots of activities can be allowed if they do not have an adverse impact on the wildlife and habitats for which the site has been designated. Wales does not have any No Take Zones, only multi-use MPAs. MPAs are the primary tool to conserve biodiversity whilst balancing the multi-use nature of the marine environment through the sustainable management of activities and natural resources.
The seas around Wales make up over half the area of Wales. There are 128 MPAs covering over 5500 square miles, or 35% of the Welsh seas and 75% of the coastline. This includes sites such as Skomer Marine Conservation Zone in Pembrokeshire that has been an MPA in some form for over 25 years.
In its inquiry into marine policy in Wales, the Fourth Assembly’s Environment and Sustainability Committee expressed concern about the level of priority given to the marine environment by the Welsh Government. Amongst its recommendations, the management of Marine Protected Areas was highlighted as a priority area for improvement.
The Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee called for evidence to support its inquiry into the management of marine protected areas in Wales.
Objectives for the inquiry
Submissions focussed on the objectives and addressed the following questions:
The Committee has also prepared a survey, which is available online.
Disclosure of Information
You can find details about how we will use your information at www.assembly.wales/inquiryprivacy.
Should you wish to speak to someone regarding this consultation, please use the below contact details:
Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee
Telephone: 0300 200 6565