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Marine Wildlife Conservation Bill
On October 26th 2001, the Second Reading of Mr. John Randall's Marine Wildlife Conservation Bill will take place in the House of Commons. It is a Private Members' Bill, and therefore allows the MP for Uxbridge to propose changes in the law.
There are currently relatively few statutory measures available that have been designed in whole or part specifically to deliver marine conservation in UK waters.
The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 substantially strengthens the provisions for the protection of nationally important terrestrial sites in England and Wales, but makes virtually no specific reference to the marine environment, except to amend the provisions for protecting species to include a new offence of recklessly disturbing marine mammals.
John Randall's Marine Wildlife Conservation Bill will address two vitally important issues:
The protection of nationally important marine sites and species. The Bill will create a new designation to protect and manage nationally important wildlife sites in the marine environment.
The scope of the Bill will cover territorial waters (those which extend out to 12 nautical miles from the coast) around England and Wales, but will not cover territorial waters around Scotland and Northern Ireland, as responsibility for these waters has been devolved.
The enforcement of marine conservation measures. Effective enforcement measures to protect marine sites and wildlife are essential. The Bill will allow English Nature (EN) and the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) to seek the assistance of competent marine authorities, such as HM Coastguard, the Environment Agency and Sea Fisheries Committees, to use their enforcement powers for nature conservation reasons.
Further protection would be given by extending the enforcement powers of EN and CCW in terms of byelaws.
If passed, the Marine Wildlife Conservation Bill would be an important step towards wider legislation to protect marine wildlife and habitats.
YOU CAN HELP
Please contact your MP requesting that he/she vote in favour of the Marine Wildlife Conservation Bill on October 26th.
Letters to MPs should be sent to: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.
If you wish to e-mail your MP, go to: www.locata.co.uk/commons/
When writing to your MP, please mention:
Marine wildlife and habitats are afforded far less protection than terrestrial wildlife and habitats.
John Randall's Marine Wildlife Conservation Bill will, create a new designation to protect and manage nationally important wildlife sites in the territorial waters of England and Wales, and ensure that conservation measures are effectively enforced.
Parliamentary support for the Marine Wildlife Conservation Bill is vital, and therefore it is essential that your MP is present in the House of Commons on 26 October for the Second reading of the Bill.
Copyright © 2001-2004 Mary Stuart and Christian Ecology Link
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