I have very recently received the announcement (see below) that the wider public consultation about Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) has started and will run until the 31st March 2013.
I will endeavour to précis the consultation on our local recommended MCZs (rMCZs) early in the new year but at a recent Devon Maritime Forum conference, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) we heard that the consultation will be for all the recommended MCZs but that only those that Defra are most confident of the evidence for will actually be proposed for designation within 2013. Further evidence gathering is apparently taking place and the outstanding rMCZs may be proposed for designation in two further tranches – dates etc. to be decided. Rather unsurprisingly I have not read through the consultation paperwork yet, so can’t confirm this but thought you would like to receive notice of the consultation finally taking place soonest.
The ethos of the marine protected areas generally is to manage and conserve a network of marine areas that support important habitats and species that themselves are important for our own wellbeing.
Best wishes for christmas and the new year!