Wightlink urges MP to raise issue of Marine Conservation Zones in his Parliamentary debate

The ferry company is urging Isle of Wight Conservative MP Andrew Turner to highlight the dangers of including ferry ports in the proposed Marine Conservation Zone in the Solent.

MCZ map

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.

He says:

“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.

Tuesday, 7th October, 2014 9:31am


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2cnm

Filed under: Ferry, Government, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story, Travel

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8 Comments on "Wightlink urges MP to raise issue of Marine Conservation Zones in his Parliamentary debate"

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Wightlink are attempting to hijack the issue of ferries to and from the island and control of the routes. Their action is a diversion. They have the audacity to use their monopoly power against the debate at the highest level. They should be ignored by their attempts to infringe on the rights of the public to be heard through their MP voicing their concerns in Parliament. An… Read more »
Josh Dinsdale

“But legislation to protect the environment must take into account the need to protect the Island’s economy.”

Hahahaha, that’s the funniest thing I’ve read all week. Wightlink are all about protecting their own interest, err I mean the Islands economy…


Does Wightlink list what their concerns are and what ‘dangers’ a MCZ will bring? Because without specifics, it reads like loaded economic scaremongering.

The ease and confidence with which Wightlink refer to AT speaking on their behalf in the Ho of Commons is very galling, when Islanders struggle so hard to get to that stage with him. Their quote/link does not in fact directly support their case, but seems aimed at bouncing him into doing their bidding. David Thornton might have thought he was saying something neutral – visitors need… Read more »
Mark Francis

What new port facilities are needed – if any?


A new port would allow us to have another ferry company :-)


You can get the same result by forcing WL and RF to share port facilities both sides of the Solent.

This would break the monopolies both companies have on their routes.


Here is a brilliant explaination of Marine Protected Areas, it is in cartoon form so even Wightlink should be able to understand it: http://grist.org/living/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-marine-protected-areas/