The Marine Protected Areas (Bottom Trawling) Bill [HL] is a private member’s bill by Lord Randall of Uxbridge (Conservative). The bill received first reading on 16 June 2022 having been introduced in the House of Lords on his behalf by Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb (Green Party). A date for the bill’s second reading has yet to be confirmed.

The bill would require the secretary of state to make provision in regulations “to regulate and limit” the use of bottom trawling in marine protected areas, including a general prohibition on bottom trawling with the possibility for exceptions to support small-scale fisheries in areas where the practice would not cause serious environmental damage. Bottom trawling is a fishing practice that involves the use of weighted nets dragged across the seabed. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are designated by the secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, with the aim of achieving long-term conservation. Each MPA protects specific features, for example a specific species or different habitat types. Concern has been expressed that bottom trawling is damaging to marine ecosystems. However, the government has argued that restricting the practice based on individual MPAs is a better approach than a blanket ban.


Related posts

  • ‘Undergrounding’ electrical transmission cables

    There are 4,500 miles of overhead electricity transmission lines in England and Wales. This contrasts with just over 900 miles of underground cables. ‘Undergrounding’, the replacement of overhead cables with underground cables, is used in limited circumstances, such as in nationally designated landscapes. There have been calls for an increase in undergrounding. However, the government has pointed to several issues, including the higher cost of underground cables.

    ‘Undergrounding’ electrical transmission cables
  • River pollution and the regulation of private water companies

    Only 14% of rivers in England have a good ecological status and none have a good chemical status. Agriculture, wastewater and diffuse urban pollution are the main sources of pollution affecting water bodies in England. In recent years, the failure of water companies to prevent sewage discharges has attracted attention, and questions have been asked about whether the government and bodies such as Ofwat and the Environment Agency are doing enough to regulate water companies and enforce environmental law.

    River pollution and the regulation of private water companies