Water & Marine: Conservation and Use of Marine Environment

These regulations deal with conservation of our marine ecosystems and aquatic life, and include a comprehensive licensing system for potentially damaging marine activities.

We want to hear your views on how we could reduce regulatory burdens, and improve implementation of these regulations; to ensure that we can deliver our policy aims and protect the Marine environment in the most effective way. For example, would it be possible to extend the number of activities in the marine environment that are exempt from the requirement for a marine licence, because they pose little or no risk to the environment or navigational safety?  This could be done by amending The Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) Order.

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Deposits in the Sea (Exemptions) (Amendment) (England and Wales) Order 2010

Amends the exemption relating to the deposit of cable and associated equipment so as to remove the exemption from the requirement for a licence under section 5 of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985.

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Domestic regulation

Deposits in the Sea (Exemptions) Order 1985

Order, which does not apply to Northern Ireland or to UK waters adjacent to Northern Ireland, exempts specified operations from the licensing requirements of Part II of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 (deposits in the sea).

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Domestic regulation

Deposits in the Sea (Public Registers of Information) Regulations 1996

Regulations prescribe the particulars of the matters to be contained in the registers of information in respect of the deposit of substances or articles in the sea or under the sea bed and the scuttling of vessels.

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Domestic regulation

Offshore Marine Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c) (Amendment) Regulations 2009

These Regulations amend the Offshore Marine Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 2007 which make provision for implementing Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds and Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of n

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EU regulation

Offshore Marine Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c) (Amendment) Regulations 2010

Regulations amend the Offshore Marine Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 2007 which make provision for implementing Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds and Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural

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EU regulation

Offshore Marine Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c) Regulations 2007

Regulations make provision for implementing Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds and Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora in relation to marine areas where the UK has jur

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EU regulation

Marine Strategy Regulations 2010

Regulations transpose Directive 2008/56/EC establishing a framework for Community action in the field of marine environmental policy and extend to the United Kingdom.

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EU regulation

The Marine Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2007

Regulations implement, in relation to certain marine works, Council Directive 85/337/EEC on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment

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EU regulation

The Marine Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) Regulations 2011

Regulations make amendments to the principal Regulations consequential on the enactment of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 and the Marine Scotland Act 2010 which largely replace the marine licensing and consent controls previously exercised under P

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EU regulation

The Marine Management Organisation (Prescription of Powers to Fix Fees and Charges) Order 2010

Order prescribes certain powers of the Secretary of State to fix fees and charges for the purposes of section 17 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.

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Domestic regulation

The Marine Licensing (Licence Application Appeals) Regulations 2011

Regulations establish an appeals procedure in relation to decisions taken under section 71 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, they apply in relation to any area, and any licensable marine activity carried on in that area, for which the Secretary o

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Domestic regulation

The Marine Licensing (Notices Appeals) Regulations 2011

Regulations provide for appeals to be made to the First-tier Tribunal against certain notices issued under Part 4 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.

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Domestic regulation

The Marine Licensing (Application Fees) Regulations 2011

Regulations apply in relation to any application for a marine licence in relation to which the Secretary of State is the appropriate licensing authority under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.

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Domestic regulation

The Marine Licensing (Delegation of Functions) Order 2011

Order delegates the exercise of certain functions of the Secretary of State as a licensing authority and an enforcement authority under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.

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Domestic regulation

The Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) Order 2011

Order specifies activities which do not need a marine licence, or do not need a marine licence if conditions specified in the Order are satisfied, it applies in relation to any area, and any licensable marine activity taking place in that area, in relatio

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Domestic regulation

The Marine Licensing (Register of Licensing Information) Regulations 2011

Regulations prescribe the particulars of the matters required by section 101 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 to be contained in the register of information maintained by the Secretary of State as a licensing authority.

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Domestic regulation

The Petroleum Act 1998 (Specified Pipelines) Order 2011

Order specifies descriptions of pipelines which are to be disregarded for the purposes of Part 3 of the Petroleum Act 1998 (other than for the purposes of section 24(2A), under which this Order is made).

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Domestic regulation

Sea Sand (Devon and Cornwall) Act 1609

Confers rights on residents of Devon and Cornwall and boatmen/bargement to remove sand for purposes of manuring land

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Domestic regulation

The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (Amendment) Regulations 2011

This covers Part 4 on Marine Licenses (ch 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) of the Act

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Domestic regulation

The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 (Amendment) Regulations 2011

This covers Part 5 on MCZ/MPA network (ch 1) of the Act

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Domestic regulation

Tell us what you think should happen to these regulations and why, being specific where possible:

69 responses to Water & Marine: Conservation and Use of Marine Environment

  • Peter Hebard said on March 25, 2012 at 9:29 am

    There is a WIn-Win, as Alan suggests, but there could be even wider beneficiaries. The collocation of wind farms and MCZs has been extensively discussed but, as the RT Challenger has suggested, the operators have been against it, fearing compliance with regulations, often irrelevant to their location, would make their operations even less economically viable than they are now.

    Equally fishermen are hoping to be able to fish in at least some areas of wind farms but will have to be excluded from of the others closest to the turbine towers, cables etc.

    However, those exclusions zones have the potential to not only foster Biodiversity in a similar way to an MCZ but also to become a “no-take” nursery area for the fish and shellfish the Fishermen want to catch. Since they will already be heavily modified by the turbine placement works, the real opportunity is to persuade the wind farm developers to VOLUNTARILY ensure that their works also provide the habitat to foster both biodiversity and fish catches too, rather than impose additional regulations.

    Both turbine tower scour protectors and cable installations can do that and some long established demonstration projects run by the NOC and others have proved that recycled materials can be used to produce artificial habitat at negative cost, in much the same way as wrecks are known to do. (The Wreck-to-Reef project in Weymouth Bay includes a reef being seeded with lobsters and another specifically for biodiversity, I believe.)

    Sinking wrecks may not be appropriate but much smaller structural habitat could have similar effect to natural reefs to make best use of the exclusion zones. Lundy Island and others have shown the benefit to fishermen of no-take zones but to be effective they need the most productive habitat.

    I have run workshops at CEFAS and other government- funded Research Agencies, challenging them to use their world-class expertise to show how make our seabed more productive and improve the economic viability of fishing, to balance their regulatory activity which can have negative effect. The IFCAs are now showing the benefit of directing their efforts in similar way and government funded Seafish has that as their prime objective.

    To use a farming analogy, MCZs could be the “hedgerows” of the sea. However, now that we have nominated an adequate number to be left untouched, the way is open to provide the “good husbandry” to make the rest of our seas as productive as possible. The Crown Estate and Universities are switching their effort in that direction, focusing on the far wider “eco system” services that our marine environment can offer. Whereas we need to exercise extreme caution and pilot every development, they have the potential to have a far more positive effect on biodiversity than just protecting a sea bed that is already much modified from its natural state.

    Our fishermen are losing access to significant areas of their traditional fishing grounds for several reasons and environmentalists are seeing more and more natural habitat disturbed. It makes sense to find intelligent ways to offset the losses to both parties by proactive initiatives, rather than refuse to try.

    Discussions with Wind Farm Developers, Aggregate Dredgers, Cable Layers and Oil & Gas producers has shown that they are all keen to show their “green” credentials by doing so. The on-cost is insignificant to their operations, whereas is it would be impossible to finance such habitat creation, as a stand alone projects and beneficial effects to our seabed could more than offset the damage of past aggressive fishing methods.

    The MMO was launched under the slogan “Managing ( i.e. maximising) our Marine Resources” and experience of case studies around the world has shown that fostering voluntary cooperation between all sides and taking advantage of every new development to improve the Natural Environment is far more effective than strangling
    the best intentions in Red Tape.

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