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Legislation and Duties

Competent and Relevant Authorities

The Habitats Regulations refer to two different sorts of statutory organisations which have certain responsibilities within European marine sites. They are known as competent and relevant authorities. The term competent authorities includes any statutory body or public office exercising legislative powers, whether on land or sea. Relevant authorities are those competent authorities which have powers or functions which have, or could have, an impact on the marine area within or adjacent to a European marine site.

Duties for Natural England 

Natural England is responsible for the designation and management of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). It is a statutory conservation advisor to Government for inshore areas (0-12nm), develops conservation objectives, publishes advice on operations and activities and undertakes condition assessments.

Duties for MMO

The MMO manages activities that require a marine licence, has powers to make byelaws to control activities to protect MPAs, which do not require a marine licence (including fisheries and recreation) and develops marine plans. 

Further Reading