The seas around the UK are important for economic activities, including transport, energy extraction, recreation and fishing, as well as for their biodiversity. The Committee's notes that marine environmental protection has lagged behind that of the land-based environment, and there is evidence that marine habitats and species are being damaged by human activities at sea. In light of this, the Committee calls for urgent Government action to prevent further decline of the marine environment, including the need to ensure an adequate level of research into marine ecosystems is maintained and that data management systems are improved. The report supports the current review of arrangements for marine nature conservation and licensing for development. It concludes that, as the current legislative and institutional framework, including national, European and international laws, is too fragmented and complex to provide proper marine environmental protection, a new, wide ranging Marine Act and a marine spatial planning system may be required to address these problems.
Material Number: 978021501614
Author: Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
Item number '2003-04 76' in the series 'House of Commons papers'.
Abstract: sixth report of session 2003-04, report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence