UK waters need ‘highly protected marine zones’ in which fishing banned to preserve ocean health, review finds

Government commits ‘carefully consider the recommendations’ but conservation group fear ministers ‘kicking this process into the seaweed’

A review has recommended banning sea fishing and other human activities in protected marine zones
A review has recommended banning sea fishing and other human activities in protected marine zones

Swathes of British waters should be off limits to all forms of damaging human activity including fishing, dredging and anchoring, an independent review has recommended.

New “highly protected marine areas” (HPMAs) would preserve ocean life, improve biodiversity and help the UK meet its net-zero carbon commitments, the government-commissioned report found.

Around 40 per cent of the country’s seas are already protected, but only from the most damaging activities. This means they can return to what ecologists deem “a favourable condition” but not achieve full recovery.

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