UK seas to gain 31 marine conservation zones

Source: The Guardian

The UK’s sealife will be protected by 31 new conservation zones aimed at preventing trawling and dredging destroying life on the ocean floor, under plans announced by the government on Thursday.

The 31 new zones will cover an area three times the area of Cornwall but are expected to allow some fishing to continue. An £8m assessment involving the government’s own science advisers recommended 127 marine conservation zones were designated, including 58 said to be severely threatened and in need of immediate protection. But Benyon said: “The scientific evidence base for a large proportion of the zones was just not up to scratch.” He said another £3.5m was being spent on gathering more evidence that could support more zones being designated in future.

The Wildlife Trusts said it was ‘bitterly disappointed’ that sites such as Flamborough (above) in Yorkshire were missing from the government’s list of new marine conservation zones. Photograph: Alamy

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