The Norwegian sandeel fishing season has started with good numbers defra ban sandeel fishing consultation The UK and the EU have agreed the total allowable catch for sandeel in 2023 under Article 489 (Fishing Opportunities) of the TCA The sandeel season is underway and there is good blue whiting fishing in the Faroe Zone in week 16 of 2023 sandeel consultation scottish waters Nature recovery from the UK government includes measures to protect land and sea such as sandeel banned fishing in English waters

Nature recovery from the UK government includes measures to protect land and sea such as sandeel banned fishing in English waters

Government Unveils New Measures for Nature Recovery One Year After Environmental Improvement Plan Launch

In a significant move to halt and reverse the decline in biodiversity, the UK government has introduced a series of measures aimed at accelerating nature recovery on both land and at sea.

The announcement, made one year after the publication of the Environmental Improvement Plan, includes plans to safeguard crucial marine ecosystems and promote the restoration of national parks and protected areas.

The initiatives unveiled today, 31 January, encompass a diverse range of measures, all designed to support various species and habitats. Some key highlights include:

  1. Permanent Closure of Sandeel Fisheries: English waters in the North Sea will witness a permanent closure of sandeel fisheries from April. Sandeels play a pivotal role in the marine food chain, serving as a vital food source for seabirds, marine mammals, and commercially important fish species. The closure aims to bolster the resilience of these species and create space for nature to recover in marine habitats.
  2. Targeted Restrictions on Bottom Trawling: The government plans to impose further targeted restrictions on damaging bottom trawling, a practice known to have adverse effects on marine ecosystems. Additionally, a ban on bottom trawling in an additional 13 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) will be enforced, enhancing the protection of important marine species and habitats.
  3. National Parks and Protected Areas Framework: A new framework for National Parks and National Landscapes will be published to better align these areas with nature recovery goals. The framework is expected to support Protected Landscapes and landowners in achieving Environmental Improvement Plan targets, including tree planting and peatland restoration crucial for carbon sequestration and biodiversity support.
  4. 30% Land and Sea Protection Target: In line with the global goal to protect 30% of land and sea for nature by 2030, the government will publish a framework to guide National Parks and National Landscapes in contributing to this ambitious target. The framework builds on commitments made at COP28, emphasising the importance of protecting diverse ecosystems.

Environment Secretary Steve Barclay stated, “We are building on this progress with a new package to safeguard our marine ecosystems and bring us one step closer to achieving our 30by30 target, both on land and sea.”

Tony Juniper, Chair of Natural England, highlighted the significance of the government’s measures, stating they would take the country closer to meeting ambitious 2030 targets for both land and sea.

Beccy Speight, chief executive of the RSPB, welcomed the announcement, noting the crucial lifeline it provides for seabirds, especially with the decision to end industrial Sandeel fishing.

The government has also allocated £7 million in awards to improve lowland peat soils, a critical carbon store. Thirty-four projects spread across lowland peat regions will receive funding to enhance water management, improve climate change understanding, and reduce flood risk.

Since the launch of the Environmental Improvement Plan a year ago, the government has fulfilled more than 50 commitments, showcasing its commitment to creating a cleaner and greener country for future generations.

These initiatives reflect the UK’s leadership in biodiversity protection and contribute to the global effort to address nature and climate emergencies.

Note: The sandeel closure, bottom trawling restrictions, and other measures are part of a comprehensive strategy to meet environmental targets set in the Environmental Improvement Plan and the Environment Act.

For more information, visit Government’s Environmental Improvement Plan.


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