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10 updates you might have missed from the Marine Management Organisation in March 2018

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In March 2018 fisheries and exiting the EU made headline news, we explained our marine licensing remit and our work to protect the oceans around UK Overseas Territories was discussed by the Secretary of State. Learn more about the work of the MMO our monthly round-up.

Marine Management Organisation news March 2018

Exiting the EU

Fisheries and access to UK waters featured significantly in the news during w/c 19 March:

  • On Monday 19th - the Secretary of State for EU Exit, David Davis, mentioned fisheries in his statement to media following negotiations in Brussels. During these discussions a date of December 2020 was agreed as the end of the transition period for leaving the EU.
  • On Tuesday 20th - Defra Secretary of State, Michael Gove, took part in a discussion in Parliament on fisheries management and leaving the EU.
  • On Wednesday 21st - a protest took place on the River Thames outside of Parliament. As part of this a quantity of haddock was thrown into the river. The MMO was asked by media about the activity.

Marine licensing

We added a section to our website containing information about a marine licence for dredging at Exmouth Marina and disposal of this material at Sprey Point. This followed concerns about the beach in Teignmouth. On 9 March we explained that the licence was suspended and no further activity could happen as part of the licence until September. Our work on this issue is ongoing and we will update the relevant webpage once further information is available.

We announced changes to process for sediment sampling and analysis, resulting in a greater choice of laboratories for applicants.

Representatives from the marine licensing team gave a presentation on our remit at a meeting of the Society of Underwater Technology in Newcastle. We also met with stakeholders working to tackle heritage crime and gave a presentation on our relevant enforcement work, including around removal of items from wreck sites.

Marine planning

The marine planning team held workshops in the South West and North East. These provided opportunity for people to give us face to face feedback on our vision for the future of the seas in their area. We also shared a video on social media reminding people that our consultation on these products closed on 29 March.

Blue Belt

Dr Emily Hardman, Integrated Marine Management Manager for the Blue Belt programme, wrote about developing a conservation plan for the British Indian Ocean Territory.

The Defra Secretary of State, Michael Gove, discussed the importance of the Blue Belt programme in his opening speech at the Great British Oceans event in Parliament.


We’re working with JNCC, Natural England, the NFFO and Bangor University on a two-year project exploring a participatory approach to the management of fishing activity in UK offshore marine protected areas.


We explained that from 1 April 2018 marine regulation will transfer from the MMO to Welsh authorities.

Our digital manager shared a personal story on the importance of educating his young daughter about our seas. He and other members of our communications team were also visited by Alex Aiken, Executive Director of Government Communications.

Both British Science Week (#BSW18) and Invasive Species Week (#InvasivesWeek) happened in March. We shared information on the MMO’s relevant work via our social media channels, such as a blog post about science and its role in marine management and information on our prosecution following release of non-native lobsters and crabs off the coast of Brighton.

Find out more about the work of the MMO

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