This in from Wightlink, in their own words. Ed
Wightlink is calling on Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner to highlight the potential dangers of including the entire north shore of the Island in new Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ) set to be announced later this year. The ferry company has asked the MP to raise the matter in his Parliamentary debate on cross-Solent ferries on Monday 13 October.
Could restrict development of ports
If a number of MCZs are created across the whole northern coastline, Wightlink believes it would restrict future developments in the ports of Ryde, Fishbourne and Yarmouth. This could hit tourism which is an important driver of the Island’s economy.
Chief Operating Officer John Burrows said,
“Protecting the marine environment from damage is very important to Wightlink, We are committed to preserving our beautiful coastline and have already spent £500,000 on a salt marsh mitigation programme in the Lymington River.
“But legislation to protect the environment must take into account the need to protect the Island’s economy. We believe leaving ports and navigation channels outside the MCZ would support Wightlink and the other cross-Solent ferry operators in developing their services, improving port facilities and investing in their fleets.”
Support from Visit IW
David Thornton, CEO of Visit IoW, supports Wightlink’s stand on the issue.
“We need to ensure that steps to preserve the natural environment go hand in hand with the need to ensure the Island’s economic and leisure well-being is also protected. The Island has a wonderful environmental appeal and we must be able to bring visitors here to see it.”
Andrew Turner has already spoken up on the issue. He has said:
“Any negative impacts resulting from the designation of MCZs around the Island could be far reaching and potentially more damaging than they would be for coastal economies on the mainland.”
Wightlink is urging him to repeat these words on the floor of the House of Commons on 13 October.