"Pitcairns and Pitfalls" as the Budget announces the world’s largest marine protection area.

"Pitcairns and Pitfalls" as the Budget announces the world’s largest marine protection area.
Trigger FishLurking in the shadow of the North Sea tax breaks (see below) was a significant announcement on conservation - plans to create the world’s largest marine protected area (MPA) in the Pitcairn Islands, the last British Ocean Territory in the Pacific.
Although not mentioned in the Chancellor’s speech, paragraph 2.259 of the Budget confirms that the government intends to proceed with the designation of this important marine environment.

Protection in the Pitcairns

Once the new MPA is designated, the UK will be responsible for the world’s two largest marine reserves. The Chagos Archipelago, part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, was designated in April 2010, following significant lobbying by the Chagos Conservation Trust and others. It is currently the world’s largest contiguous no-take marine reserve, covering a total surface area of more than 640,000 square kilometres (greater than twice the size of the UK).

Work will now commence to create the 834,000 square kilometre MPA in the Pitcairns, which is subject to the government reaching agreement with NGOs on satellite monitoring and co-operation from authorities in the nearest ports to enforce illegal fishing within the MPA. The legal impetus for creating MPAs lies in a myriad of international agreements (eg the OSPAR Convention, and the Convention on Biological Diversity); European directives (eg the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and European marine sites designated under the Wild Birds and Habitats Directiv

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About the author:

Hayley has over ten years’ experience as an environmental lawyer. She commenced her career at Blake Dawson (Ashurst Australia) in Sydney before moving to London in 2006 and practising at Stephenson Harwood and Allen & Overy. Hayley joined LexisNexis in 2010 from the Environment Agency where she advised on environmental law guidance. Outside of work Hayley can be found horse-riding, volunteering in crisis centres or planning her next trip to Africa or South America.