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Marine Environment: Safety

Volume 715: debated on Monday 7 December 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they will take to ensure compliance with the use of the precautionary principle to offset damage to marine life. [HL180]

This Government are committed to a thriving marine environment, and we therefore use a precautionary approach, based on sound evidence and reason, as part of our sustainable development strategy. This is reflected in our decisions on marine licensing across the board, from fishing to aggregate extraction to power generation, and in our legislation, most notably the Marine and Coastal Access Act. More widely we are also working on the EU marine strategy framework directive to integrate sound science and planning with marine use, and we fund research through Cefas (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) and other centres of marine science expertise to enhance our scientific evidence base.

We are developing a marine planning system under the new Act. This includes the marine policy statement and a series of marine plans in the English inshore and offshore regions which will make responsible use of sound science in directing decision making in the marine area. We are taking action to ensure that there is compliance with our approach by creating the Marine Management Organisation, and by including provisions for marine conservation zones in the Marine and Coastal Access Act.