More protection for marine in Wales needed

Picture: Glamorgan Heritage Coast from Witches Point - Gareth Cunningham

Yesterday saw the official launch of the Welsh Assembly’s committee enquiry report into the way Welsh Government has managed the Welsh marine area to date. The enquiry, which the RSPB gave evidence too, made some strong recommendations to Welsh Government.

 The report highlighted some concerns over Welsh Government’s delivery of key legislation, including the Marine and Coastal Access Act, and the need for greater recognition for the marine environment and its importance to Wales.

 Over a third of Welsh seas are designated protected sites, yet many are failing to protect the marine wildlife they were designated for. The Welsh marine area is almost double the size of Wales, RSPB Cymru is concerned that the marine area, to date, has not been given the same priority as terrestrial areas.

 Gareth Cunningham is marine policy officer for RSPB Cymru, he said: “In particular we welcome the Committee’s recognition that protection of the areas of sea next to already protected coastal breeding colonies (designated as Special Protection Areas) for seabirds, areas used for foraging and mating displays, are long overdue. We hope that Welsh Government makes the delivery of this recommendation a priority, and ensures swift designation of these essential sites.”

RSPB Cymru is looking forward to working with the Welsh Government and other stakeholders to deliver a true ecosystem approach for Welsh waters. We hope that the recommendations within the report are considered fully by Welsh Government and look forward to their response.