The Benyon Review has recommended establishing Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) in inshore and offshore English waters and offshore Northern Irish waters. Scottish and Welsh seas are managed by their own devolved governments.
HPMAs are the strongest form of marine protection. Activities such as anchoring and mooring are banned, unless in emergency situations. Navigation through HPMAs is allowed, but subject to speed and noise restrictions. Dredging and fishing are also prohibited.
There are currently 182 designated Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in England, which include the marine conservation zones. The review argues that many activities, like dredging, still occur in MPAs, and stronger protection is needed if marine flora and fauna are to thrive.
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