Proposed Marine Conservation Zone

Marine Conservation Zone – A message from Dale Community Council

The area on the front at Dale known as Dale Roads is included as one of ten chosen sites to explore in Wales as possible Highly Protected Marine Conservation Zones. If established, this would have a major impact on the community and its economy – therefore you are urged to make your views known. For more information look at the notes below provided by Dale Community Council.

Highly Protected Marine Conservation Zones

The Welsh Assembly Government is currently exploring the possibility of creating three or four sites to be HPMCZ’s. They have selected ten possible sites, throughout Wales, from which to choose the required three or four final preferred sites.

The difference between an MCZ (Marine Conservation Zone) and a HPMCZ (Highly protected Marine Conservation Zone) is the level of restrictions that can be placed on the area. Restrictions may include the following:-

  • No commercial or recreational fishing.
  • No catch-and-release fishing
  • No anchoring or mooring
  • No deposit of living or non-living materials
  • No building of structures
  • No access to the foreshore
  • No navigation and transit of vessels (including non motorised recreational craft such as rowing boats, kayaks, windsurfers, sailing boats

The area on the front at Dale known as Dale Roads is included as one of the ten chosen sites to explore.

Dale is a small coastal village with a fragile rural economy and relies heavily on tourism to sustain the community. The summer season is all important to the economy – our village shop has recently closed and the café has to close during the winter. Even the village pub is unable to open every day in the winter.

There are numerous diving and fishing trips based in the bay coupled with a small amount of commercial fishing. The pontoon is an attraction to visiting craft and a great source of pleasure to the many children holidaying in the village who use it for crabbing in addition to the blue flag beach. The village has some two hundred moorings, a sailing and windsurfing school and is a popular anchorage for yachts on passage. In addition the local yacht club runs a dinghy racing programme throughout the summer, as well as junior sail training and is the host club for national class championships. All these activities add to the attraction of the area for visitors and create job opportunities for residents.

Without these activities the village would be a less attractive place to visit and would struggle to remain a sustainable community – an objective clearly stated by the Welsh Assembly Government. The impact on the village could be enormous and may even cause the closure of Dale Fort if all the restrictions were applied.

It is very frustrating for us, as a Community Council, to have to use our limited resources to fight such a negative proposal. The consultation document merely explores one aspect of the area and gives no thought to the impact on residents and the economy of the area. If the Welsh Assembly Government has such a surplus of funds, we would certainly benefit from some positive help. It seems so illogical to name ten sites and use the limited resources of ten communities to fight these proposals when only three sites are required.

More information and links

Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) – Potential Site Options for Welsh Waters
Marine Conservation Zones – Map viewer

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