Ecologist article by Jean-Luc Solandt & Horatio Morpurgo:

Infractions against Marine Protected Areas in Northumberland don’t bode well for post-Brexit fishing regulations. The failure of local authorities in the UK to enforce protection zones today is threatening fish populations – including the very young, with no evidence of any benefit for fishing communities.  In 2012 the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and ClientEarth were at the point of challenging the UK government in court over its failure to protect Special Areas of Conservation or ‘SACs’ from fishing. SACs have been designated under European laws – mainly written by the UK – since the 1990s. The MCS was likely to win, so the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) convened the marine regulators or Inshore fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs) in order to establish clearer controls of our inshore waters. By 2014, the IFCAs had brought in effective by-laws to protect reefs, seagrass beds and maerl habitats, the most obvious habitats to protect – but the story didn’t end there.  Click here to read more

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