Marine Environment | News | April | Seafish

Marine Environment News in Brief - April 2022

The latest news on a bill to regulate demersal trawling in Marine Protected Areas, a report on nature based solutions in aquaculture and more.

Marine Protected Areas (Bottom Trawling) Bill

The text for Chris Grayling’s Private Members Bill to regulate and limit demersal trawling in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) has been published. The Bill proposes a prohibition on demersal trawling in MPAs, with exceptions proposed to support small-scale fisheries and small boats fishing from UK ports, in areas where bottom trawling would not cause serious environmental damage. The second reading of the Bill will take place on 6 May.

Fisheries and Protected Areas

A recording and summary of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Fisheries meeting on Fisheries and Protected Areas have been made available.

Aquaculture and Nature-based Solutions

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has reported on ‘Aquaculture and Nature-based Solutions: Identifying synergies between sustainable development of coastal communities, aquaculture, and marine and coastal conservation’. This examines the concept of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) and how the eight criteria of the IUCN NbS Global Standard can be applied to aquaculture. Access the Aquaculture and Nature-base Solutions report

Blue Carbon Briefing

The UK’s Climate Change Committee has released a briefing on the evidence of the potential for ‘blue carbon’ contained in coastal and marine ecosystems to contribute to climate mitigation and considers the associated benefits.

Key Climate Challenges for the Marine Environment

The UK Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) has published key challenges and emerging issues for the marine environment. These are drawn from MCCIP’s 2020 marine climate change impacts report card and workshop outputs.

End-of-Life Fishing Gear

Defra have published six technical reports on end-of-life fishing and aquaculture gear policy options. The findings will be used to help inform future research needs and policy interventions designed to sustainably manage fishing and aquaculture gear at its end-of-life, and work towards a more circular economy.

Following a successful pilot, the Welsh Government has become the first UK nation to introduce a recycling scheme for fishing gear. Welsh Government worked with Odyssey Innovation Ltd, creators of the Net Regeneration Scheme, port authorities, local authorities, fishers and community groups to create the scheme.

Blue Economy Vision for Scotland

The Scottish Government have published their Blue Economy Vision for Scotland. This outlines six outcomes to be achieved by 2045, recognising that economic prosperity and well-being need to be embedded within nature to be sustainable. This vision extends the Scottish Government Environment Strategy vision of ‘One Earth, One Home, One Shared Future’ to include ‘One Ocean’.

Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction

The fourth round of United Nations (UN) talks, which concluded on 22 March, have failed to finalise the wording for an International Legally Binding Instrument on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (or BBNJ Agreement). The BBNJ Agreement is expected to provide a framework for High Seas governance, building on existing obligations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to protect the marine environment.

When finalised, the treaty will cover marine genetic resources (including questions on the sharing of benefits), area-based management tools (including MPAs), environmental impact assessments and capacity-building, and the transfer of marine technology. IUCN has published a briefing paper for each of these areas.


  • 22 April 2022: Environment Agency consultation on draft river basin management plans, including protected shellfish waters.
  • 26 April 2022: Scottish Government consultation on permanence of Red Rocks and Longay MPA to protect critically endangered flapper skate.
  • 6 May 2022: Welsh Government consultation on Cockle Fishery Management Measures 2022.
  • 11 May 2022: Defra consultation on Nature Recovery Green Paper, including marine protected areas.
  • 11 May 2022: Defra consultation on environmental targets, including marine biodiversity.
  • 12 May 2022: Defra consultation on the Government’s Storm Overflow Discharge Reduction Plan
  • 7 June 2022: Scottish Government consultation on Scotland’s Future Catching Policy.
  • 7 June 2022: Scottish Government consultation on Enhancing sustainable fisheries management - Remote Electronic Monitoring


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