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Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Section 116: Marine conservation zones

328.This section provides a power for the Welsh Ministers, Scottish Ministers and the Secretary of State (hereafter referred to as “Ministers”) to designate, as the appropriate authority, areas as marine conservation zones (MCZs) by means of local orders.

329.Subsections (2) and (3) identify those areas within which an MCZ may be designated. These include English inshore waters and the offshore waters of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland (where the Secretary of State is the appropriate authority), the Welsh inshore region (where the Welsh Ministers are the appropriate authority), and the Scottish offshore region (where the Scottish Ministers are the appropriate authority). Marine nature conservation in the inshore waters of Scotland and Northern Ireland is a matter for Scottish Ministers and Northern Ireland Departments to determine through their own legislation.

330.Subsection (6) states that the Scottish Ministers may not designate an MCZ without agreement from the Secretary of State.

331.Subsection (7) provides that an MCZ designated by the Scottish Ministers under this section is to be known as a marine protected area and that references in this Act to an MCZ designated by the Scottish Ministers should be read as a reference to a marine protected area.

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