The Benyon review of Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) is published by Defra today.
The North West Wildlife Trusts back its recommendations that HPMAs should be an essential part of the UK network for protection and recovery of the marine environment, and the Government should introduce HPMAs within existing protected areas.
The review is published on World Oceans Day (8 June) by an independent panel of members from academia, industry and conservation backgrounds and chaired by former MP and Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon. The North West Wildlife Trusts believes that there is an overwhelming case for HPMAs across our seas which would see a ban on all damaging activities and are calling for an ambitious HPMA delivery plan within a year.
The North West Wildlife Trusts' Senior Marine Conservation Officer, Dr Emily Baxter, says: "Our seas are becoming increasingly threatened by pollution, unsustainable exploitation such as overfishing and development at sea, and, increasingly, the effects of global climate change. These pressures are altering the ecological balance, depleting resources beyond safe biological limits and jeopardising what we can take from the sea. Our seas need to recover and this will require swift action to be taken.