Council opposes plans for protected marine zones
8:10am Wednesday 11th July 2012 in Milford Haven
THE importance of the tourist and fishing economies on the Dale peninsular was highlighted by Pembrokeshire County Council’s cabinet on Monday when it opposed plans for further environmental protection.
The Welsh Government has asked the council for a response to its proposals to designate three areas off the Pembrokeshire coast as Highly Protected Marine Conservation Zones (HPMCZ).
Members also decided not to support proposals to designate another area off Strumble Head, while reserving its position regarding Skomer Island to assess any impact on nearby dredging operations.
Activities in designated areas would be severely restricted and the three Pembrokeshire sites are part of ten proposed in Wales.
Council Leader Jamie Adams said that while the protection of the marine environment was supported, the council was concerned about the consequences if the proposedMarine Conservation Zones went ahead.
He said: “We should be mindful of the three areas under consideration, “Both Strumble Head and the Dale Peninsular depend on the tourist economy and play host to small scale fishing businesses as well as recreational and tourist activities.”
Cllr Ken Rowlands, cabinet member for environmental and regulatory services, said the three MCZs would send the wrong message to the petrochemical and gas industries along the Haven, which have both local and national significance.
He said: “Although Milford Haven is a deep water port because of the huge draught of vessels using the waterway, the channels need to be regularly dredged. We are concerned that a possible Skomer MCZ could impact on the commercial activities of the waterway.”