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SeaFish Guidance to Protect Marine Wildlife

UK - To highlight ongoing changes to wildlife conservation legislation and to show how this legislation significantly affects the activities of the fishing industry, Seafish has just published the fourth in a series of concise guidance notes to help the commercial fishing and aquaculture sectors comply with these requirements.

The latest guidance note covers protected marine wildlife species. It names all the marine wildlife species which are protected in the UK and shows how to work with the relevant authorities to help protect wildlife, and stay within the law.


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"Harming these protected wildlife species may now be a criminal offence, resulting in a fine of up to £5,000 and up to six months in prison"
Mark Gray, Environmental Advisor, Seafish.

“Wildlife protection laws have been strengthened over the past few years to protect rare marine wildlife species and this has had a practical effect on fishing activities,” said Mark Gray, Environmental Advisor, Seafish.

“All wild bird species, including their nests and eggs are legally protected wherever they occur, and over 30 marine animal species, are legally protected in UK territorial waters. Harming these protected wildlife species may now be a criminal offence, resulting in a fine of up to £5,000 and up to six months in prison, so it is crucial that steps are taken to avoid harming them.

“This guidance note gives a list of the marine species that are protected and details the extent of that protection, as well as providing a summary of the laws that protect wildlife species in the UK. It describes measures to take to avoid harming these species and to keep within the law,” said Mark.

The guidance note also includes a case study on whales and dolphins to illustrate how the law protects marine wildlife species throughout UK and EC waters, all well as highlighting other marine species such as seals and basking sharks which are also given extra protection.

Further Reading

- You can view the Seafish gude by clicking here.

Ellen Hardy

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