Overexploitation is unsustainable by definition, as is an abuse of the natural environment and rules need to be made. BHT is therefore broadly in favour of MCZs. However, we are concerned about a fundamental problem, which is that the management proposals (ie the restrictions on the use of an area) will not be known until after an MCZ is in place, making it impossible to tell in advance whether sustainable use of the local area for recreation and commerce will be achieved.
In a personal statement the Trust’s Chairman, Jeremy Gully, said:
MCZ’s are a human intervention to protect long term human interests. Human interest includes the role that the seaside and the sea play in all our lives. The Harbour and approaches provide a playground for children to learn, manage risk and directly interact with the real world and the people in it – an experience that their increasingly ‘virtual’ existence does not offer. If future generations are to respect the environment they need to understand it, and hands on is always the best way.
The local fishing industry is important, so too is recreational boating of all types, on which the local tourism industry relies heavily. A careful balance is needed. Whilst not taking a leading role on this issue, BHT is liaising on the matter with the sailing and angling clubs, as well as conservation organisations and local groups, BASHHA and BHUG through its contacts and memberships.
About the Marine Conservation Zone Project