Evidence for MCZ designations, February 2013

The UK government is claiming that of the 127 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) currently submitted to the Minister by his statutory advisors for designation only 31 are presently fit for purpose – and that further scientific evidence is still required for the official designation of the remaining 96 recommended MCZ sites. We provide here evidence which exists at the present time for one of these 96 “deferred sites” (Coquet to St Marys MCZ, Northumberland) to show that the scientific evidence in support of its designation is already as full as can be reasonably required, and that therefore an assertion about “insufficient scientific evidence” simply cannot be sustained by the UK government. Evidence for the other 95 “deferred MCZ sites” which have been recommended to the Minister for designation is equally robust, and can be obtained by contacting the Marine Conservation Society.