As part of the UK Government’s commitment to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it, an independent review of Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) – which represent the upper end of environmental protection – was publicly announced on gov.uk on the 8 June.
The review, led by ex-fisheries Minister Richard Benyon MP, has been asked to recommend whether and how HPMAs could be introduced within English inshore and offshore waters and Northern Irish offshore waters and, if supported by the evidence, recommend potential locations for pilot sites.
A four-week call for evidence launches today inviting communities, industry and stakeholders for their comments on introducing tougher measures to help stop the impacts of human activity from damaging the marine environment. Views are also sought on which areas could benefit most from these extra protections.
The call for evidence will remain open from 3 October until the 31 October and can be found here
Defra appreciate the pressures many of you are under in preparation for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, if you are concerned that you don’t have time to respond to this Call for Evidence, would encourage you to get in touch with the review Secretariat at HPMAreview@defra.gov.uk to discuss.