Marine & Coastal access Bill included

The British Marine Federation (BMF) today welcomed the inclusion of the Marine and Coastal Access Bill in the Queen’s Speech to Parliament. Following support from the three main political parties, this Bill now forms a key part of the Government’s legislative programme.

The BMF is calling for the needs of its members to be taken into account in the drafting of any final legislation.

The Bill, which is expected to be published in the New Year, is the first legislative attempt to safeguard the marine environment and will potentially cover a number of areas that could have an impact on commercial activities.

These include:

Measures on the licensing of maintenance dredging – The BMF will be supporting the exemption of all forms of maintenance dredging activities on behalf of our members
New powers for enforcement of nature conservation and licensing legislation – The BMF will call for a consistent and transparent enforcement regime which will safeguard recreational boating for the future
The right to coastal access – The BMF will lobby Government to create diversions around our member’s sites, safeguarding their businesses and protecting the public
The establishment of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) – The BMF will liaise with Government and DEFRA to protect our member’s sites from any restrictions which may be imposed

The BMF will be working with the Government, DEFRA and politicians from all sides to ensure that the final legislative framework does not impact negatively on marine businesses, in particular the streamlining of the consents process through the merging of the FEPA and CPA licenses.

The BMF will also argue for equal weight to be given to environmental, social and economic factors regarding the establishment of The Marine Management Organisation and any secondary legislation which follows the Bill.