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14 July 2010

First Progress Report

Our first progress report gives a snapshot of the work so far on potential Marine Conservation Zones.

The report is a major milestone in the Irish Sea Conservation Zones project’s work to help recommend Marine Conservation Zones in part of the Irish Sea.

However, the progress report is only a snapshot of the work so far.

It does not contain concrete recommendations for the location of Marine Conservation Zones in the Irish Sea, and the potential zones shown in the report are liable to change at later stages in the project.

The potential zones have been identified by the project’s Regional Stakeholder Group, which is made up of 40 people drawn from different sea uses or interests that occur in the Irish Sea project area, such as commercial fishing, marine industries and recreation.

The group was supported in its work by independent facilitators, Dialogue Matters, and by the Irish Sea Conservation Zones project.

The progress report is the first of three which will be delivered to the Science Advisory Panel - an independent body made up of expert scientists whose main role is to evaluate the potential Marine Conservation Zones against ecological criteria.

The Regional Stakeholder Group’s final recommendations will be presented to the government in June next year. A formal public consultation on the proposed MCZs will follow in late 2011 and early 2012.

The progress report can be downloaded at here.