RYA ‘assuming the worst’ over Isle of Wight Marine Conservation Zones

Four potential MCZs on the Isle of Wight have been examined to see how they would disrupt local boating activities

Introducing four Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) on the Isle of Wight could have a negative effect local boating activities, the RYA has said.

Evidence from the association’s Southern region has been submitted to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

In its report, RYA Southern points out that setting up an MCZ between Yarmouth and Cowes could disrupt “possibly the busiest single tourist and recreational vessel destination in the Solent”.

Boating activities near The Needles, Bembridge and Norris to Ryde have also been examined in the submission to DEFRA, which will be taken into consideration before the final decision on the next tranche of 37 recommended MCZs is made next year.

In a statement to accompany the Isle of Wight submission, the RYA added: “It is understood that designation of any sites will be done before the next government elections in May 2015.

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“It had been understood that for Tranche 2 sites, the government would make clear at an early stage what restrictions could be considered for each site.

“The RYA Southern Region has been informed by DEFRA that this information will not be made available until the Public Consultation, which means we have had to assume a worst case situation until this information is available.”

MCZs have attracted much opposition from within the boating community, with many concerned that they will severely limit scope to drop anchor and take part in recreational fishing, although individual restrictions for local areas are still unclear.

Last year a campaign in Wales led to plans for 10 MCZs being withdrawn by the Welsh minister Alun Davies.


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