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Marine Bill

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which (a) Government departments and (b) stakeholders responded to the Marine Bill consultation. (221548)

The Department received 3,929 responses to the public consultation on the Government's draft Marine Bill. In addition, approximately 11,000 postcards were received from the Ramblers' Association supporting the coastal access provisions.

Of the 3,929 responses, 3,504 were campaign responses from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and Friends of the Earth. The remaining 425 responses were received from stakeholders including members of the public, public bodies and bodies representing environmental, fisheries, local government, ports, energy, heritage, shipping, aggregates and recreational issues.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Marine Bill will fully implement the provisions necessary to implement the EU Marine Strategy Directive. (221646)

The marine strategy framework directive sets the overall goal of achieving good environmental status for Europe's seas by 2020.

The directive entered into force on 15 July 2008 and member states have two years from that date to transpose it into UK law. The UK will transpose the directive to this timetable using regulations under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972.

Although the Marine Bill will not be used as the legislative vehicle which transposes the directive, the draft Bill includes a range of specific measures and tools to better protect and manage UK marine waters. These will contribute to the directive's goal of achieving good environmental status. The two pieces of legislation can therefore be seen as complementary.