Welsh Government must provide leadership to protect our marine environments
The Welsh Government needs to take a stronger lead to safeguard our marine environments for future generations, a National Assembly Committee says.
Mike Hedges, Chair of the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee, launched the report at the National Eisteddfod. The report into the Welsh Government’s management of Marine Protected Areas in Wales found:
- More funding and staffing is needed to ensure Wales’s marine environments are protected;
- Funding for Marine Protected Areas should be area-based with a dedicated officer for each area;
- The Welsh Government must work to ensure that Wales’s fisheries resources and the interests of the Welsh fleet are fully protected in Brexit negotiations; and
- The Welsh Government must explain how it will address any future shortfall in funding for work on Marine Protected Areas that is currently met by EU funds following Britain’s departure from the EU.
Mike Hedges AM said: “Welsh waters are home to some of the most biologically diverse habitats and species in Europe, and 50% is protected, which means that certain activities such as fishing and wildlife trip operators are regulated to prevent environmental damage.
“There are a great many different levels of protection, designated under a range of laws, but this designation has not resulted in better management, with voluntary codes of conduct not always being adhered to.
“Simply creating Marine Protected Areas is not enough; the Welsh Government must also ensure they have the resources necessary for the management, monitoring, surveillance and enforcement that is required.”
Read the full report:
Turning the tide? Report of the inquiry into the Welsh Government’s approach to Marine Protected Area management (PDF,1 MB)