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The Marine Working Group works to ensure better protection of marine wildlife and effective management of our seas by seeking the full implementation of the Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009). The group also monitors the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

Chair: Joan Edwards, The Wildlife Trusts
Vice Chair: Melissa Moore, Marine Conservation Society
Marine Policy and Campaigns Manager: Sarah Stuart-Smith, Link

Update from the Group

The Marine Working Group continues work towards seeking the development of a UK ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and has focused on preparations for a parliamentary drop-in event on the Marine Charter on 14 December 2016. The group wants a much-needed, ambitious and comprehensive third tranche of Marine Conservation Zones designations in English and Secretary of State Waters to be achieved in order to progress efforts towards a coherent network across the UK. A Government consultation for these designations is expected in 2017. Environment organisations across the UK support a coherent, well-managed network of MPAs and over 180 MPs have already signed the Marine Charter - Link’s call for the swift designation of a representative and well managed ecologically coherent network of MPAs in UK seas.

As part of this work, the group submitted evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee’s MPA revisited inquiry.

In conjunction with our sister Links in Environment Links UK, the Marine Working Group also responded to two European Commission consultations on proposed changes to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). We are concerned with elements of the proposal that weaken the robustness of the MSFD, as we believe that the achievement of Good Environmental Status should be a central priority for Member States to ensure that their marine environment is healthy, sustainable and provides effective protection for marine biodiversity. Our full responses are available here.

For further information, contact Sarah Stuart-Smith, Link's Marine Policy and Campaigns Manager.

Last updated: 1 December 2016.