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Marine Protected Areas

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 167095, tabled on 16 March 2023

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to propose new Marine Protected Areas under the mechanism established by the new High Seas Treaty.

Answered on

22 March 2023

Draft text for an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction - the BBNJ Agreement - was agreed on 5 March. It will be adopted by the Intergovernmental Conference at a further meeting, later this year. This is a landmark agreement for biodiversity and will mean much greater protection for over 60% of the global ocean.

The UK will work to ratify the Agreement as soon as possible, and work with global partners to ensure it is implemented quickly and effectively.

The UK uses its engagement in Regional Fisheries Management Organisations and other international forums to push for outcomes focused on managing fisheries sustainably, protecting marine ecosystems (including through Marine Protected Areas) and combatting illegal fishing.