Rewilding seas: Some waters off England to get full protection

9 months ago 67

Spider crabs are communal  successful  shallow waters disconnected  EnglandImage source, Martin Stevens

Image caption,

The seas disconnected the UK are location to array of wildlife

By Helen Briggs

Environment correspondent

Three stretches of h2o disconnected the English seashore are to get the strictest imaginable biology protections arsenic portion of caller measures to reconstruct the wellness of the seas.

Fishing volition beryllium banned on with each activities that harm the oversea bed, specified arsenic mining and laying cables.

Proposals to bring successful Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) astatine 2 different sites person been dropped.

Critic accidental the plans deficiency ambition and advancement is acold excessively slow.

Prof Callum Roberts of the University of Exeter said the areas would marque a large quality to the oversea beingness wrong them but covered lone 0.5% of English seas.

"At this complaint of advancement it'll instrumentality 260 years to get to the level of extortion that subject says is needed - which is 30% of the seas highly protected," helium said.

The Wildlife Trusts said they would beryllium calling connected the authorities to designate much afloat protected marine areas arsenic soon arsenic possible.

"I'm wholly dismayed that the authorities has lone decided to designate 3 of the 5 projected HPMAs," said caput of marine conservation, Dr Lissa Batey,

"They're a bully archetypal measurement but we truly request to bash much if we're to crook the tide connected nature's betterment and bring wildlife back."

Richard Hill of the Marine Conservation Society echoed her words. "It's a measurement forward, but a babe step," helium said. "It's a shame the authorities isn't being a spot much ambitious successful protecting our seas."

The areas to beryllium fixed afloat extortion are:

  • Allonby Bay successful Cumbria: in-shore waters that harbour a wealthiness of marine life, including sponges, brushed coral, seaweed, oversea squirt, anemone and surviving reefs built by the honeycomb worm
  • Dolphin Head: a agelong of h2o acold disconnected the Sussex Coast that's location to dolphins, porpoises, oversea birds and fish
  • The North East of Farnes Deep, 35 miles (55km) disconnected the seashore of Northumberland. The seabed is affluent successful unusual and uncommon life-forms including long-lived molluscs and squat lobsters. The waters teem with seabirds and marine mammals including the achromatic beaked dolphin.

Proposals astatine Northumberland's Holy Island were dropped aft fears were voiced that a prohibition connected sportfishing could devastate the section economy.

A akin program for Trevelyan Inner Silver Pit South 16 miles (26km) disconnected the seashore of Lincolnshire was besides ditched. The country is simply a sportfishing crushed for cod, plaice, herring and sole.

Image source, Saeed Rashid

Image caption,

Cuttlefish swimming successful the oversea disconnected Dorset

The caller strategy gives 3 areas disconnected England afloat extortion against harm from fishing, mining and improvement arsenic portion of a people to support 30% of marine waters by 2030.

A Defra spokesperson said: "Highly Protected Marine Areas volition connection the highest levels of extortion successful our seas, helping a wide scope of marine habitats and taxon to afloat recover."

Seas are nether unit from decades of over-exploitation, contamination and clime change. While 38% of seas astir the British Isles are designated marine reserves, galore are inactive taxable to damaging sportfishing practices specified arsenic bottommost trawling, wherever sportfishing cogwheel is dragged on the oversea bed.

Follow Helen connected Twitter @hbriggs.

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