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Seas and Oceans: Environment Protection

Volume 474: debated on Monday 21 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 5 March 2007, Official Report, column 1278W, on seas and oceans: environmental protection, if he will list those sites not mentioned in the answer, but included in the figure of 180 sites reported in the Government’s response to the Science and Technology Committee’s report, Investigating the Oceans 2006-07, HC470; and what the reasons are for each site’s protection. (199123)

As mentioned in the answer I gave to the hon. Member on 27 March 2008, Official Report, column 354W, the information provided to the Science and Technology Committee, of around 180 marine protected areas in UK inshore waters (within 12 nautical miles), differs from the current figure of 151 marine protected areas as a result of ambiguity in the definition of what constitutes a ‘marine’ site.

Work was completed by the Joint Nature Conservation Council (JNCC) in October 2007 to refine inter-agency definitions of ‘special areas of conservation with marine components’ and ‘special protection areas with marine components’ in agreement with the Marine Natura Project Group. Lists of these sites and their associated interest features were then produced.

The JNCC website provides the names of the sites, and describes the qualifying species and marine habitats present.