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2 February 2010

Comment on guidance

Defra is asking for comments on its draft guidance for selecting Marine Conservation Zones.

A second draft of the guidance was published on Defra’s website last week, along with other guidance notes. Defra wants to receive comments on the guidance before it is finalised this spring.

The guidance deals with the selection and designation of Marine Conservation Zones.

It explains proposals to use the power contained in the recent Marine and Coastal Access Actto designate Marine Conservation Zones as part of a wider network of marine protected areas (which will also include European protected marine sites).

It also explains how Defra intends to take account of social and economic considerations and the approach it will take in setting conservation objectives for Marine Conservation Zones.

The guidance also explains the duties placed on public authorities in relation to Marine Conservation Zones by the recent Marine and Coastal Access Act.

And it provides further guidance on the general offence of intentionally or recklessly damaging the features of Marine Conservation Zones, which applies to all zones throughout inshore and offshore waters.

To comment on the draft guidance, email marinebiodiversity@defra.gsi.gov.uk or telephone 0117 372 8339. In Wales, email marine@wales.gsi.gov.uk.

Alternatively, comments can be mailed to Defra Marine Biodiversity Policy Team, 1/05 Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6EB or Welsh Assembly Government, Marine Branch, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NQ.