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2 August 2010

Co-location guidance

New guidelines say that Marine Conservation Zones could provide ‘win-win’ situations.

The guidelines look at whether it will be suitable to recommend Marine Conservation Zones in areas where activities such as commercial fishing, wind farms, aggregate dredging and recreational activities already take place.

It also applies to areas where activities do not yet take place, but are planned or licensed for the future.

The guidance was prepared by Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee.

According to the new guidelines, all areas should be considered in the process of planning potential Marine Conservation Zones, regardless of existing, planned or licensed activities.

It goes on to say that where possible, Marine Conservation Zones should try to create ‘win-win’ situations.

This can be done by recommending conservation zones in places where the objectives of the Marine Conservation Zone can still be met even though there are existing, licensed or planned activities in the same area.

For more information, you can download the guidelines.

For the first time in the UK, the size and location of the Marine Conservation Zones will be recommended by people with a real interest in the Irish Sea project area.

A Regional Stakeholder Group of 40 people with a wide range of interests, from fishing to wind farms, will present its recommendations to the government in 2011.

They will also draw up recommendations for which species and habitats each different zone will aim to protect and how highly they should be protected.