Marine matters for the North Devon Marine Pioneer.

On the 6th February the North Devon Marine Pioneer held its second stakeholder workshop at Alverdiscott Community Hall in North Devon. A wide range of people from across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset braved the snow to participate in this event.

With over 40 attendees, it was a lively day with input from a range of different marine sectors, including the fishing industry, local government, tourism and recreation, maritime industry and conservation.

The beginning of the day was led by the Marine Pioneer partners; they presented some demonstration projects commencing as part of the North Devon Marine Pioneer. Later, participants were asked for their advice and expertise – focussing on four subjects: marine governance and management; the local fishing industry; the Taw Torridge estuary; and how we can sustainably fund the management of North Devon’s Marine Protected Areas.

This workshop showed just how engaged North Devon people and our neighbours are with their sea, estuaries and rivers. This was a successful day and the information from the day will be used to guide our next steps, in the Pioneer”, says Chrissie Ingle, the Marine Pioneer Coordinator.

What is the Marine Pioneer?

The Government has committed to ensure that the natural environment that provides our prosperity and health is protected and improved for us and future generations. The 25 Year Environment Plan was launched on 11th January by Theresa May and sets out how this would be achieved.

To help accomplish this there are four ‘Pioneer’ areas – where new approaches from the plan will be trialled. The four pioneers are: the landscape of North Devon; the marine environment in North Devon and Suffolk; a river catchment in Cumbria and the urban area of Greater Manchester.

What has happened so far?

There have already been two North Devon Marine Pioneer workshops. One, in March 2017, produced long term aims and ambitions for North Devon’s Marine area, with agreed goals such as ‘improved local fisheries management’, ‘robust protection of biodiversity’ and ‘increased local decision-making’. The second, in November 2017, was a focussed workshop with licensors and planners to consider how our natural marine environment can be better incorporated into local decision making – both reports from these workshops can be found online at www.northdevonbiosphere.org.uk/marinepioneer.html

From this second workshop local information and experiences can define how we proceed with the Pioneer. There will be a report from the day, which will be made available on the North Devon Biosphere’s Marine Pioneer webpage www.northdevonbiosphere.org.uk/marinepioneer.html

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