68. The creation of the MMO will require the transfer
of functions from the Marine and Fisheries Agency and other bodies.
In the interim, it is necessary that all those functions currently
performed continue to be so, and that there is as seamless a transition
as possible. The Government suggests that "as the MMO is
a new organisation, there will be few transitional arrangements
associated with setting it up. However, some transitional clauses
will be needed to ensure continuity in functions being transferred
to the MMO from the MFA and other bodies".
69. Provision for such transition is difficult to
assess given that the full functions of the MMO are unknown at
this stage. However, it is clear that important development and
conservations decisions will be taken in the marine area in the
interim period before the MMO is a functioning entity, potentially
including the designation of Marine Conservation Zones and the
granting of consents to build renewable energy installations.
There will also be ongoing regulatory functions to perform, such
as Harbour Revision Orders.
The Crown Estate wants provision for transitional arrangements
on the face of the Bill to "prevent uncertainty during the
British Ports Association raised concerns about the transitional
arrangements for the development of the MMO and how that sits
alongside the development of the Infrastructure Planning Commission.
For commercial interests it is particularly important to establish
predictability and stability. We therefore invite the Government
to set out its timetable for the handover of specific functions
in the transition to the MMO, to ensure that there is minimal
disruption to developments, either existing or about to enter
the licensing system.
70. Witnesses from the energy industry in particular
expressed concern about the potential for delays in the new planning
and licensing system affecting developer confidence and investment.
Mr Carcas from Pelamis Wave Power Limited said "the danger
is that additional bureaucracy is introduced that could slow down
that process, particularly while things like the marine planning
statement and zones are being identified. People may say, "You'll
have to wait until we have done all of this first before things
can proceed". It is clearly a concern".
BWEA spoke of the transition period between now and when the planning
framework is in place as potentially a "big bun fight"
between different interested parties trying to "gazump'"
the framework and secure their area of the seabed.
They noted that the Crown Estate has very recently announced areas
for which it will develop wind farms, while the process of stakeholder
consultation in MCZ designation has already begun. The BWEA argued
that there "needs to be a transitionary process which manages
that and avoids [it]".
It would be counter-productive
if the result of this scrutiny process, the consultation periods
and the establishment of the planning system was a rush of pre-emptive
developments, or informal designation processes. This would undermine
the intention of the Government and the policy of sustainable
development. We believe it is critical
that the Government put in place guidelines for all relevant departments
and licensing bodies as soon as possible, from now until the functioning
of the new planning and licensing systems, in order to ensure
the integrity of the process and outcomes.
71. In cases where the Bill creates open-ended
powers by which the MMO may come to exercise functions (in particular
clauses 14 and 35(2)) Defra should set out a clear and full justification
for such powers, including examples of their expected use. The
Government should also explain how it envisages secondary legislation
being used to augment the powers of the MMO. This could be
done by means of a list, to be revised on an ongoing basis, setting
out the types of 'marine function' that may be the subject of
a clause 14 agreement.
72. There is a particular issue about licensing of
marine dredging, much of which is not currently subject to regulation.
Although this activity will be subject to the new marine licensing
regime, the policy intention, which was broadly welcomed, is that
most will be exempted at a later stage.
The Government envisages working with harbour authorities, dredgers
and others over the next few years "to establish a sound
evidence base on which to exempt the vast majority of such cases
from marine licensing".
However it also states that it will "take time" to exempt
those dredging activities and in the transition period operators
would have to apply for a licence.
This situation could create a problem in the transitional period,
which is of concern to the British Marine Federation and the British
Marine Aggregate Producers Association. They suggested that the
influx of licence applications from operators who have not had
to be licensed until the implementation of the Bill might overwhelm
the MMO and that industry would suffer from resulting delays.
Industry was also anxious that subsequent applications for exemptions
which might be required could be dealt with promptly. Dredging
is an unglamorous but very necessary activity and we recommend
that the concern of the industry is given due consideration by
the Government. It may be that timescales for licensing decision-making
should be built into the Bill to ensure industry is not disadvantaged
by the increased administrative burden of applying for licences
for previously unlicensed activity, and subsequently then applying
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
73. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is an
executive agency of the Department for Transport, responsible
for implementing the UK Government's maritime safety policy. Defra
said that "careful consideration has been given to the relationship
between the MMO and the MCA in preparing the Marine Bill, as there
will be considerable overlap between the geographic area of operation
of the two organisations".
The Government considered and rejected the idea of merging the
MCA and the MMO because they have "discrete and very different
functions" and "it is important to maintain the MCA
as a separate organisation with a clear, single focus on shipping
and maritime safety".
The MMO will
"consult and work with the MCA whenever
its activities are likely to impinge on issues of maritime safety,
including the preparation of marine plans, marine licensing decisions
that have a potential impact on navigation, the designation of
Marine Conservation Zones, and the exercise of enforcement powers
] Similarly the MCA will ensure that the MMO is involved
in any of the Agency's activities which might have implications
for the MMO's responsibilities. For example, we expect the MMO
(as MFA currently does) to attend the Fishing Industry Safety
Group (FISG), which advises DfT through the MCA".
The Government expects a Memorandum of Understanding
between the MMO and MCA, as with other bodies.
We recommend that the Government formalise in the Bill the
consultation requirements between the Maritime and Coastguard
Agency and the Marine Management Organisation.
55 Q651 Back
DMB 76 Back
Clause 2(1) Back
Q604, DMB 43, DMB 20, DMB 22, DMB 47, DMB 17, DMB 81 Back
Q604, Q361, Q196, Q223, Q228, Q55, DMB17, DMB78 Back
DMB 17 (The comprehensive integrated management of human activities,
based on the best available scientific knowledge about the ecosystem
and its dynamics, in order to identify and take action on influences
which are critical to the health of marine ecosystems, thereby
achieving sustainable use of ecosystem goods and services and
maintenance of ecosystem integrity). Back
DMB 102 Back
DMB 10; others also supported this call for a duty to further
the Water Framework Directive objectives, eg DMB 27 Back
Clauses, 2, 40 and 46 Back
Cm 7351, explanatory notes, p 60, para 100 Back
DMB 93 Back
Schedule 1, para 5 Back
For example, the Chamber of Shipping and the United Kingdom Major
Ports Group thought a maritime professional from the shipping
or ports sector should be on the board: DMB 34 and DMB 31 Back
DMB 53, DMB 83 Back
Cm 7351, p28 Back
Part I, Chapter III Back
Cm 7351, explanatory notes, p 28, para 41 Back
DMB 60 Back
DMB 21, DMB 25, DMB 11 Back
DMB 98 Back
DMB 64 Back
DMB 36 Back
Qq361-2, DMB 36 Back
Clause 16(4) Back
Clause 16 Back
Cm 7351, explanatory notes p 40, para 65 Back
DMB 21, DMB 17, DMB 31, DMB 32 Back
Q181, DMB 31, DMB 34, DMB 35, DMB 89 Back
DMB 35 Back
DMB 36 Back
Cm 7351, p26 Back
DMB 109 Back
Cm 7351, p70 Back
The policy paper says 'Ministers expect to makes use of their
powers in the Bill to delegate their [licensing] functions to
the MMO within a couple of years of the Bill receiving Royal Assent,'
Cm 7351, p73. Back
DMB 78, DMB 86 Back
Cm 7351, p73 Back
DMB 31 Back
DMB 89 Back
Cm 7351, p29 Back
DMB 43 Back
DMB 47, DMB 24, DMB 25, DMB 11 Back
DMB 47 Back
DMB 34 Back
DMB 39 Back
For example, DMB 40 Back
DMB 16, DMB 20, DMB 22 Back
DMB 112 Back
DMB 112 Back
For example, the Plymouth Marine Laboratory thought science "must
be at the heart" of the MMO: DMB 87. Back
DMB 58 Back
DMB 111 Back
Q551, DMB 17 Back
DMB 85 Back
DMB 20, DMB 22 Back
DMB 87 Back
DMB 20, DMB 76, DMB 47 Back
DMB 47 Back
DMB 94 Qq61-62 Back
DMB 62 Back
Cm 7351, p53 Back
DMB 32 Back
DMB 64 Back
Q86, DMB 79 Back
Clause 67 Back
Cm 7351, p38 Back
Cm 7351, p73 Back
DMB 46, DMB 35 Back
DMB 107 Back