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Marine Act (Northern Ireland) 2013

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Grounds for designation of MCZ

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14.—(1) The Department may make an order under section 13 designating an area as an MCZ if it thinks that it is desirable to do so for the purpose of conserving—

(a)marine flora or fauna;

(b)marine habitats or types of marine habitat;

(c)features of geological or geomorphological interest.

(2) The order must state—

(a)the protected feature or features;

(b)the conservation objectives for the MCZ.

(3) Any reference in this Part to the conservation objectives stated for an MCZ is a reference to the conservation objectives stated for the MCZ under subsection (2)(b).

(4) The reference in subsection (1)(a) to conserving marine flora or fauna includes, in particular, a reference to conserving any species that is rare or threatened because of—

(a)the limited number of individuals of that species, or

(b)the limited number of locations in which that species is present.

(5) The references in subsection (1)(a) and (b) to conserving marine flora or fauna or habitat include references to conserving the diversity of such flora, fauna or habitat, whether or not any or all of them are rare or threatened.

(6) Any reference in this Part to conserving a thing includes references to—

(a)assisting in its conservation;

(b)enabling or facilitating its recovery or increase.

(7) In considering whether it is desirable to designate an area as an MCZ, the Department must have regard to any economic, cultural or social consequences of designating that area and, so far as possible, to—

(a)the extent to which any of the following activities are likely to be prohibited or significantly restricted within that area if it is designated—

(i)any licensable marine activity (within the meaning of Part 4 of the 2009 Act);

(ii)fishing for or taking animals or plants from the sea;

(b)the likely impact on the environment within that area if that area is not designated;

(c)the likely impact on the environment elsewhere in the Northern Ireland inshore region as a result of any activity mentioned in paragraph (a) being displaced from that area if it is designated.

(8) The reference in subsection (7) to any social consequences of designating an area as an MCZ includes a reference to any consequences of doing so for any sites in that area (including any sites comprising, or comprising the remains of, any vessel, aircraft or marine installation) which are of historic or archaeological interest.

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