The RYA is objecting to just one of the 31 sites proposed for designation in 2013

Environment Minister Richard Benyon has

announced that the final decision on which of the 31 proposed Marine

Conservation Zones (MCZs) in England will be designated will be made

over the summer with the aim of making designations in the autumn.

At the same time Government will indicate its proposed approach to the next stage of work on MCZs.

The announcement follows publication of the 40,632 responses to the

public MCZ consultation which took place from December 2013 to March


You can read the summary of responses on the Defra website.

Caroline Price, RYA planning and environmental manager, said: ‘Whilst we

still have a bit longer to wait for the final decision we are pleased

to see Defra reiterate its commitment that an ‘adequate [scientific]

evidence base’ must support any decisions ‘that may have social and

economic impacts and effects on peoples’ livelihoods.

‘We have been pushing this particular point because it will be on

the basis of the evidence that the management measures, which could

impact on recreational boating, for each MCZ will be devised in the


Of the 31 sites proposed for designation in 2013 the RYA has

objections to only one of the sites: the Aln Estuary recommended MCZ

contains a small charted anchorage in the one location in which a vessel

can stay afloat at all states of the tide in the Estuary and we will be

seeking to retain access to this resource.

The omission of the detail of management measures from this

consultation means that we still don’t really know what designation will

actually mean to the local community.