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Petition Turn Marine Conservation Areas into No Take Zones

I ask the Government to improve the protection of UK marine life by implementing No Take Zones (NTZ). This can be achieved using existing Marine Conservation Area boundaries, authorities, technologies and criminal justice procedures. NTZs should support our fragile ecosystem and UK fish industry

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NTZs, which include all fishing, mining and seabed disruption, would provide sanctuary for marine life. NTZs should nin turn supply the fishing permitted areas with a steady source of catch.
The Marine Management Organisation should be tasked with enforcement. They already require boats to have Vessel Monitoring Systems (GPS tracking). Breaching NTZs should be considered as assumed activity and thus as a Corporate Environment Crime. Such clear legislation will make management and prosecution easier.

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Other parliamentary business

UK biodiversity report published by MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee

The Environmental Audit Committee has published its report on 'Biodiversity in the UK: bloom or bust', which calls for the Government to conserve and restore UK biodiversity and ecosystems.
 
The report is published amid grave concern that of the G7 countries, the UK has the lowest level of biodiversity remaining.
 
The MPs on the Committee found that existing Government policy and targets were inadequate to address plummeting biodiversity loss. This is made worse by nature policy not being joined up across Government, nor is nature protection consistently factored into policy making.
 
Some key recommendations made by the Committee include:
- The Government must establish a timetable to put management plans and monitoring in place for all Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), with different categories of destructive bottom trawling banned or restricted. More MPAs should be established as 'no-take' zones
- In the next Spending Review, greater funding must be given to Natural England which reflects its responsibilities and tasks.
- The Government should commission a review identifying and tracking public expenditure harmful to biodiversity. Once identified, Ministers must act to remove harmful subsidies and re-direct money to nature conservation and recovery.
- Tree planting should not occur on peat soils
- Education on biodiversity must increase: a Natural History GCSE should be introduced and investment in skills should be increased for chartered ecology and associated disciplines.
 
Read an interactive summary of the report:
https://houseofcommons.shorthandstories.com/uk-biodiversity-bloom-or-bust/index.html
 

What happens next?

The Government now must respond to the Committee's report, which was published on 30 June 2021, within two months. The Committee will publish the Government’s response here: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/62/environmental-audit-committee/
 

What is the Environmental Audit Committee?

The Environmental Audit Committee is a cross-party group of non-Government MPs who look into how Government policies and departments contribute to environmental protection and sustainable development.
  
Follow the Committee on Twitter for updates on its work:
https://twitter.com/CommonsEAC
 
The Environmental Audit Committee is a select committee. Find out how Select Committees work:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c

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