Consultation on proposed changes to Marine Licensing Exemptions

14 November 2018

Consultation on proposed changes to Marine Licensing Exemptions

Defra have launched a consultation to seek views on proposals to revise the current marine licensing requirements. The range of licensable activities are set out under the Marine and Coastal Act 2009 (MCAA) under MCAA section 66. Anyone undertaking such activity is required to obtain a marine licence from the appropriate licensing authority.

There are a few specific circumstances where those undertaking a licensable activity are exempted from the requirement to obtain a marine licence. These exemptions are set out under section 74 of MCAA and in the Marine Licensing (Exempted Activities) Orders 2011 and 2013. We will be consulting on the introduction of new exemptions to the regime and amendments to some existing exemptions. The proposed changes are looking to be implemented to lessen the legislative burden needed to complete these activities.

The proposed changes comprise of new exemptions for the following activities:

  • The recovery of marine litter and abandoned, discarded or lost fishing gear (ADLFG/ghost gear) by recreational divers
  • The use of vehicles or vessels to routinely remove marine debris by a Harbour Authority
  • In-water hull cleaning of lightly fouled recreational vessels

Propose to dis-apply current Exemptions for the following activities:

  • Shellfish Propagation and Cultivation in the circumstance of new areas of shellfish propagation and cultivation or extensions to existing areas of shellfish propagation and cultivation (Article 13)
  • Scientific Instruments (Article 17)

Proposed amendments of existing Exemptions to provide clarification for the following activities:

  • Maintenance of coast protection, drainage and flood defence works (Article 19)
  • Emergency works in response to flood or flood risk (Article 20)
  • Use of vehicles to remove litter, seaweed or dead animals (Article 21)
  • Moorings or aids to navigation (Article 25)
  • Temporary markers (Article 26a)
  • Diver Trails within restricted areas (Article 31)
  • Cables and Pipeline – authorised emergency inspection and repair (Article 34)

This consultation applies to English Inshore and Offshore marine area, and Northern Ireland Offshore marine area where the Secretary of State (SOS) is the appropriate licensing authority.

The consultation and details of how to respond can be found here

The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 14th December 2018.

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