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Many individual species and habitats receive statutory protection under a range of legislative provisions. The protection afforded is different depending on the legislation but can for example range from a duty to further the conservation of the living organisms and types of habitat to preventing intentional injury, removal or death of certain species or damage to habitats.
The MMO receives advice on protected species and habitats from the statutory nature conservation bodies. Additionally, the environmental assessment process may also provide information on protected species and habitats but there is a lack of a coherent evidence base, in terms of distribution and condition, at a national scale. A common understanding of the distribution and condition of relevant habitats and species would improve the transparency and consistency of marine licensing.
The MMO wishes to improve evidence on species and habitats distribution and condition outside of designated sites that may be affected by marine developments. Lists of relevant marine protected species are either included or referred to within MMO web pages on marine species protection.