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Pre-Consultation on the Draft UK Marine Policy Statement (Defra 2010)

Submission from ALGAO:UK Maritime Committee

Dear Sir / Madam,

Pre-Consultation on the Draft UK Marine Policy Statement

I am responding to the above on behalf of the Maritime Committee of ALGAO:UK. ALGAO:UK (Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers) represents the senior archaeological advisors within local authorities and it covers England, Scotland and Wales. The association operates through national and subject committees and the Maritime Committee represents its interests in marine matters. I am chair of that committee.

We welcome the publication of this document and we are encouraged by its tenor and aspects of its content.The questions within the document are set out below with our response.

Q1. Does the document contain a clear statement of policy objectives applicable at the UK level for the marine environment? Are there any policy objectives that should be added, for clarity?

Q2. Is there any further information required at the UK level to support marine planning?

The marine policy objectives are clear, there is however no mention of the need to both research and conserve the marine cultural heritage. A statement to this effect should be included under the ‘Living within environmental limits’ and ‘Using sound science responsibly’ sections. These might read:

‘Living within environmental limits’
The Marine cultural heritage is protected and conserved

‘Using sound science responsibly’
Our understanding and evidence of the marine cultural heritage continues to develop through new scientific research and data collection.

Including these statements will bring the Marine Policy Statement in line with the ‘The Government’s Statement on the Historic Environment for England 2010’ which has a vision ‘That the value of the historic environment is recognized by all who have the power to shape it; that Government gives it proper recognition and that it is managed intelligently and in a way that fully realizes its contribution to the economic, social and cultural life of the nation.

We welcome and agree with the statements made about the ‘Heritage’ in the section on Policy objectives by sector/activity

Q3. Does Chapter 3 set out the key high-level considerations that need to be taken into account when developing marine plans? Are the most significant impacts and pressures identified?

In the ‘Issues for Consideration’ section of the ‘Historic Environment’ component of Chapter 3 reference should be made to the very incomplete knowledge of the marine historic environment. This should emphasise the need to ensure that all appropriate measures have been taken to identify marine historic assets in the areas of any development and that appropriate contingency plans are in place to manage any new finds.

Q4. Does Chapter 4 set out the appropriate considerations for decision making for the marine area? Does it provide guidance on the factors to consider for specific activities in reaching decisions?

Yes

Q5. Does the document provide an appropriate overarching framework for the development of marine plans and decision-making in the UK marine area?

On the whole it is appropriate, however it should perhaps specifically address the scarcity of accurate data for many areas of activity which will become a significant issue as marine plans are developed. This will be a significant constraint on the ability to formulate meaningful plans with achievable objectives.

Q6. Is any additional information required at UK level?

See above

We hope that this is of use and look forward to seeing the Marine Policy Statement in due course.

Yours sincerely,

Robin Daniels
Chair, ALGAO:UK Maritime Committee

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