Government response

Marine Conservation Zones: response to an article in the Times

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Richard Benyon has responded to an article in the Times by stressing that we cannot designate all proposed 127 Marine Conservation Zones without the evidence we need.

The letter that was published in the Times today reads:

Sir, What is banal is the call to designate all proposed 127 sites as Marine Conservation Zones (“Minister rejects ‘banal’ campaign for marine conservation zones”, Aug 5). We know how important it is to get this right, and scientists, including Professor Callum Roberts, have advised that the evidence for lots of them simply is not there.

I have invested more than £3 million to get the evidence we need for further designations of these sites. Claims that I have “caved in to the fishing industry” are just absurd. I do, however, believe that if you are going to stop someone from making a living, you have to have a good reason for doing so.

Richard Benyon Fisheries Minister