Environment Committee Reviews Marine Management Activity

Session: 2009/2010

Date: 20 January 2010

Reference: ENV 04/09/10

At Lough Neagh Discovery Centre on Oxford Island near Lurgan, the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for the Environment is to listen to recommendations on how to manage Northern Ireland’s marine activity better.

The Committee will hear evidence on an independent review which identifies savings and efficiency recommendations on a range of marine activities including fisheries, energy production, licensing and marine protection. The review, produced by the Northern Ireland Marine Task Force, identifies that marine activities fall within the remit of a number of different Departments.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Dolores Kelly said: “Marine activity and management in Northern Ireland crosses over into many Departments. The Committee is keen to reduce any inefficiency and to reduce expense which may result from this multi-departmental responsibility. We intend to use this meeting as a basis for discussions with the Department to tackle this problem and provide the best possible protection for marine life, flora and fauna while ensuring bureaucracy and costs are minimised for those who use Northern Ireland’s seas and coasts.”

The review, entitled “Report into the economic implications of a Marine Management Organisation in Northern Ireland” recommends that a single organisation deliver services on behalf of all Departments providing a more effective and efficient solution to managing Northern Ireland’s marine activities.

The meeting takes place on 21 January at 10am and the Committee will hear about the ongoing issues that influence Northern Ireland’s marine future. They will also view the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre’s measures to encourage and educate people about countryside recreation and conservation and biodiversity.

END

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