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Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Section 129: Byelaws for protection of MCZs in England

367.This section gives the MMO the power to make byelaws to protect MCZs in the English inshore region and help further their conservation objectives. There is no power to make byelaws in the offshore region. Separate arrangements for Wales are detailed in section 134.

368.Subsection (3) sets out some of the activities which may be controlled through the making of byelaws. These are primarily activities which are not otherwise controlled (for example under the new licensing system). Research has shown that unregulated activities may threaten biodiversity, and that those of highest risk are motorised recreation (such as the use of speed boats and jet-skis), wildlife watching (which may also disturb sensitive species), and land-based recreation. The powers are drafted widely in order to allow the MMO to regulate these, and any other activities likely to threaten a site’s conservation objectives.

369.Subsection (4) allows the MMO to control specific activities on the seashore adjacent to an MCZ, for the purposes of protection (for example to control noise disturbance from vehicles or music).

370.Subsections (5) and (6) enable the MMO to issue permits (with whatever conditions it feels appropriate) to authorise activities which would otherwise be unlawful under a byelaw.

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