The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), our scientific advisers, have not indicated that potential offshore sites are being damaged by fishing activities. If the JNCC did indicate that such damage was occurring, we would approach the Commission to ask them to consider proposing protective measures.
An initial tranche of candidate offshore special areas of conservation (cSAC) were submitted to the European Commission on 29 August 2008. These included the sites at Braemar Pockmarks, Darwin Mounds, Haig Fras, Scanner Pockmark and Stanton Banks.
Two sites have been delayed pending resolution of issues arising during public consultation: North Norfolk Sandbanks and Saturn Reefs, and Wyville Thomson Ridge. DEFRA officials are working to resolve these issues and these sites will be considered for submission to the Commission at the earliest opportunity.