Kerry McCarthy – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Kerry McCarthy on 2015-11-13.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of the cost of (a) completing the network of Marine Conservation Zones and (b) creating a blue belt around British Overseas Territories.

George Eustice

Responsibility for Marine Conservation Zones is devolved, the answer below relates to Marine Conservation Zones being established in the Secretary of State’s waters: English inshore waters (within 12 nautical miles) and the offshore waters (beyond 12 nautical miles) off England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

We are designating Marine Conservation Zones in tranches; for each tranche costs are estimated in Impact Assessments accompanying their consultation and then designation. Equivalent annual costs to business for the first tranche were estimated upon their designation to be £0.5 million, with £1.7 million annual costs for the public sector. Equivalent annual costs to business for the second tranche estimated when they were consulted on were £0.18 million, with £1.924 million annual costs for the public sector, these estimates will be updated when this second tranche is designated. We have not yet estimated the costs for the third and final tranche, costs estimates will be provided when this tranche is consulted on.

The Blue Belt of marine protection around the Overseas Territories will encompass a broad range of new and enhanced marine protection measures across different Territories.The British Indian Ocean Territory and South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands have already declared Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), with funded enforcement measures. For Pitcairn and Ascension Island, work is in hand to develop cost-effective monitoring and enforcement solutions for future MPAs. For the other Overseas Territories, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office is at an early stage of working with the Territories to scope what further marine protection measures are desirable and scientifically justified.Identifying any additional cost requirements to support this initiative is part of this scoping exercise.[1]

[1] Information provided by Foreign and Commonwealth Office