28 February 2013
Last year’s consultation on proposed Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ) in Wales received 6,780 responses. We are grateful to everyone who took the time to voice their concerns during our awareness raising campaign. Under the proposals, wildfowling and angling could have been banned by default in every MCZ created. Thanks to your voice BASC is now part of a stakeholder’s group advising the Welsh Government on a fresh approach to creating MCZs.
BASC will use its website and its members’ email newsletter 'Fast Track' to continue to keep people up to date on any developments relating to MCZs in Wales, England or Northern Ireland.
On 19th April the Welsh Government launched a consultation on the proposed location of MCZs around the Welsh coast. Iit was proposed that each MCZ be classified as highly protected, meaning that no ‘extractive activities’ of any type would be permitted within these sites. In plain English that would mean that a wide range of traditional activities of socio-economic and cultural importance in Wales such as wildfowling, angling, collecting shellfish and even beachcombing could be banned by default in every MCZ created.
Wildfowlers have been active conservationists on coastal marshes and the foreshore for generations and we recognise the importance of having conservation measures in place to prevent over-exploitation of marine habitats and the wildlife they support.
The Welsh Government must allow for the sustainable use of wildlife resources by wildfowlers, anglers and other conservationists within MCZs, and this should be made explicit in the next round of proposals for MCZs in Wales. The Welsh Government should identify smaller parts of MCZs that are well offshore, and not used for recreational activities, as the highly protected areas within a wider MCZ network.
BASC is not opposed to marine conservation but is opposed to any proposals that could ban wildfowling within MCZs. During the consultation BASC encouraged people to respond to the consultation via its website, shooting forums and Fast Track.
BASC members can share their views on this topic by filling in the comment box below. We will only show your first name when publishing comments.
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