Today, Defra launched its consultation on Highly Protected Marine Areas (HMPAs) which are defined as:
“Areas of the sea that allow the protection and recovery of marine ecosystems by prohibiting extractive, destructive and depositional uses and allowing only nondamaging levels of other activities to the extent permitted by international law”
You can read more about HMPAs and the reasons for their proposal HERE.
The Defra proposal has identified 5 candidate HMPAs, two of which are off the coast of Northumberland: Lindisfarne (Inshore) a 129km2 area, and north east of the Farnes Deep (offshore) a 492 km2 area.
The HMPA would ban the following activities in these areas:
Fishing, collection of materials, dredging, recreational angling (although the consultation contains a question on angling zones) and anchoring and mooring (apart from in emergencies).
The defra proposal has made an impact assessment of the affects of this on the local fishing industry, and it is really important as many people as possible take part in the consultation. The purpose of this consultation is to hear about and take into account the possible socio-economic impacts of the proposal, so please do take the time to take part. It is open until 28 September 2022.
You can read the proposal document below and take part in the consultation HERE.