Councillors welcome new powers of Marine Act NI

Members of Coleraine Borough Council have welcomed a new Act which will give the Department of the Environment new powers to protect marine diversity through the creation of Marine Conservation Zones.

At last Tuesday night’s Council meeting, members were given more information about the Marine Act 2013 by Council Enforcement Officer, Jim Allen.

Jim Allen told members that marine conservation zones would protect vulnerable species and habitats.

In their response to the consultation, Council pointed out the conflict between marine conservation and proposals by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment to explore renewable energy off the North Coast.

DUP Alderman Maurice Bradley welcomed the Act saying: “The environment is the most important thing.

“You cannot replace it, so therefore we must protect it.”

Alderman Bradley went on: “Any opportunity to create artificial reefs is commendable it would stop trawlers coming in.”