The Government is committed to ‘creating a UK-wide ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)’. The MPA network is an essential part of the Government’s strategy to integrate marine nature conservation and other marine activities in pursuing its vision for ‘clean healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas’.
This report was commissioned in October 2010 to review how certain activities are being controlled to mitigate impact to protected habitats and species, and to identify examples of best practice. The five activities studied were:
- recreational disturbance to habitats and species;
- non-natives and ballast water;
- by-catch of cetaceans and birds; and
- dredging and disposal of sediment.
The aim for this report is to better inform Natural England and other relevant (or management) authorities on activities which may cause damage to MPA interests (both Natura 2000 sites and MCZs) and the potential management options available. The Marine Management Organisation has management responsibilities for unregulated/recreational activities in MPAs and has reviewed this report. Other bodies that may use this report include Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Associations, European Marine Site project officers and NGOs.