Northumberland Wildlife Trust has expressed its relief and agrees with the recent decision, that the sea around Lindisfarne will not be designated a Higher Protected Marine Area (HPMA).
Last summer, following consultation, the site progressed to the next stage of the government’s HPMA designation process, which would potentially give this richly biodiverse area, a much higher level of marine protection, by banning all damaging activities within the boundaries such as stopping fishing.
The decision not to award the sea around Lindisfarne HMPA status highlights the importance of consultation with local communities in the process. Whilst NWT supports the concept of HPMA’s which aim to protect more of our diminishing marine ecosystems, local consultation and the nature of the area did not make it a suitable candidate.
The wildlife charity listened closely to the views and opinions of the local fishing community whose livelihoods would have been disproportionately affected if HMPA status had been awarded, with many local residents including the head teacher of the island’s school and local church ministers also against it for community and reasons.
The area is already well designated and protected and moves towards more sustainable shellfish fishing are under way. It has very strong environmental characteristics including salt marsh, beaches, cliffs, dunes and islands which support important breeding colonies of seabirds such as terns, auks and guillemots, as well as seals. Despite this, there are pollution issues which again are being tackled which would not again have been appropriate to HPMA designation.
Posted On: 14/03/2023