A map showing the possible sites for Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) around the Isle of Wight.
A GOVERNMENT minister is to visit the Isle of Wight to hear the views of Islanders on Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs).
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs fisheries minister George Eustice met with Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner yesterday (Wednesday) and has now agreed to visit the Island to discuss the latest proposed possible MCZ candidates, which include six sites around the Island.
Mr Turner said: "It is important to note that these are only candidate sites — even DEFRA do not necessarily expect all of them will go forward. Unlike on the mainland, these proposals potentially affect every single Island resident as we all need to cross the Solent, and a great many Islanders rely on the sea to earn their living or for recreational purposes.
"It is in everyone’s interests that the marine environment is properly protected and the need to take account of the social and economic impact of these zones is enshrined in legislation, so the secret to taking this forward successfully will be in getting the balance right."
Mr Eustice said: "I look forward to continuing my discussions with Andrew later this year and to listening to local communities’ views about protecting the marine environment around the Isle of Wight."
A date for the meeting has yet to be arranged.
The possible Isle of Wight sites are:
• Norris, East Cowes, to Ryde
• The Needles
• Yarmouth to Cowes
• Utopia, to the east of the Island
• Offshore Overfalls, to the south east of the Island