23rd April 2007
Dr Alan Whitehead, speaking in last week's debate on the marine environment and the forthcoming Marine Bill, stressed to the government the importance of marine management organisation. He said that in the Solent area effective management needs to take in the marinas, the port of Southampton, the natural environment, and in-shore fisheries.
Speaking in the debate he said:
“It is important that the marine management organisation suggested in the White Paper manage the idea of “one project, one consent” holistically, in terms of the range of competing users who operate intensively on our shores and the deeper sea areas off our coast. In the area immediately adjacent to my constituency in the Solent, they include marinas, the port of Southampton, the natural environment, and in-shore fisheries. The ability of the marine management organisation to ensure that they engage in harmonious development within these heavily used waters is an important part of what the Bill will achieve.”
Dr Whitehead, was also keen to stress the importance that our waters will have in tackling Climate Change, he said:
“I believe that the Marine Bill will have a substantial bearing on large elements of the arrangements that this country will need to make to secure our energy supplies and thereby make a real contribution to combating climate change. In that context and others, it is important to achieve clarity about what goes where and when and what else should be done in respect of the seas surrounding our country. As my hon. Friend the Member for Brighton, Kemptown pointed out, it is also important to have clarity about matters such as the compatibility of offshore energy developments with no-take zones and marine protection zones. Such installations may well protect and develop such zones rather than detract from them.”
Speaking after the debate Dr Whitehead added:
“The forthcoming Marine Bill will be crucial for the effective planning and conservation of the marine environment, particularly when we have a limited amount of time to get renewable devices working and providing us with low-carbon energy which will be instrumental in tackling climate change.