Gove moots new ‘highly protected marine areas’

The environment secretary has launched a review into whether some of England’s seas could be offered the highest level of legal protections, including a ban on any human activity that could potentially cause harm.

The six month review of highly protected marine areas (HPMA) will be carried out by former fisheries minister Richard Benyon, who will look at their applicability in England’s inshore and offshore waters as well as in Northern Ireland’s offshore zones.

Benyon has been asked to conduct an evidence-based assessment of the views of sea users and other relevant stakeholders on the environmental, social, and economic impacts of HPMAs.

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