Ministers announce fresh plans for Jersey Marine Park

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Thirty percent of Jersey's waters will have protected status if plans by the island's environment minister are approved.

Currently, less than seven percent of Jersey's waters are marine protected areas - where towed fishing gear and destructive practices are banned.

Deputy Jonathan Renouf wants to create an extended network of Marine Protected Areas in Jersey’s territorial waters, which would form the basis for a Jersey Marine Park.

He said: "The Proposition, which I plan to lodge in the next few months, will set out the detailed timetable and methodology for establishing the boundaries of the park, and its management.

"There will be a full consultation with all stakeholders, including with our own fishing fleet, and our neighbours in France and Guernsey.”

In March 2022, politicians threw out plans lodged by the former environment minister Deputy John Young to create a Marine National Park.

Deputy Young's original amendment - which was ultimately voted through by the Assembly - was to create a 'Marine Spatial Plan' to develop a 'network of marine protected areas'.

Deputy Renouf will soon publish the first draft of the Marine Spatial Plan - which is similar to the Island Plan, but for Jersey’s territorial waters - before it goes to public consultation.

Deputy Renouf said: “In the course of preparing the draft Marine Spatial Plan, it has become evident that a clear scientific basis exists to expand and add to our network of Marine Protected Areas.

"This will allow us to create a Marine Park in the Island’s waters, covering around 30% of our territorial waters."

The idea is that this network will form part of Jersey's delivery of the "30 by 30" initiative - a pledge made by government representatives and organisations from around the world to conserve thirty per cent of the globe's terrestrial and marine habitat by 2030.

Jersey Marine Conservation's chairman Kevin McIlwee says: "The marine environment around Jersey is extraordinary and we think it deserves better protection.

"I want to bring forward that better protection to symbolise our commitment to protecting the marine environment to the highest standard."

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