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Marine Act (Northern Ireland) 2013

Section 26: Byelaws for protection of MCZs

This section gives the Department the power to make byelaws to protect MCZs in the Northern Ireland inshore region or in any other part of Northern Ireland.

Byelaws will be site specific and be made on a case-by-case basis with the level of restriction depending on the features being protected. Byelaws will be drafted so as only to control aspects of the activity that are likely to be damaging.

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 marine licensing system).  Research has shown that some unregulated activities may threaten biodiversity.

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

Subsections (5) and (6) enable byelaws to provide for the Department to issue permits (with whatever conditions it feels appropriate) to authorise activities which would otherwise be unlawful under the byelaws.

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