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Title: Offshore marine conservation in the north-east Atlantic : opportunities and challenges for the developing regime
Author: De Santo, Elizabeth Maxwell
ISNI:       0000 0004 2669 9155
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis examines the development of the first offshore Marine Protected Area (MPA) on the UK Continental Shelf, the Darwin Mounds area of cold-water coral reefs discovered in 1998 off the North-West coast of Scotland. Following the 1999 Greenpeace High Court judgment and subsequent rulings by the European Court of Justice, the EC Habitats Directive is now deemed to apply throughout Member States' territories (i.e. out to 200 nautical mile limits of their Exclusive Economic/Fishery Zones). Damage to the Darwin Mounds area caused by deep-water trawling fishing activity has been observed and in 2003, at the UK's request, the European Commission imposed a ban on bottom trawling in the area, which became a permanent measure in 2004. This move was made possible by the revised Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and represents the first instance of a closure for nature conservation, rather than fish stocks, under the CFP. Through a detailed legal and policy analysis, a program of semi-structured interviews with stakeholders, regulators and specialists in the field, and participant observation at regional workshops, this thesis explores the unique circumstances and sequence of events that led to the protection of the Darwin Mounds. A subsequent attempt to use the same legal mechanism to ban pair- trawling for sea bass in the English Channel (which results in the unintentional bycatch and mortality of dolphins and porpoises), met with less success. These two cases are explored within a theoretical framework derived from the social and natural sciences. The related issues of implementing a precautionary and ecosystem-based approach to marine conservation, and the role of science in policy-making are examined with regard to European initiatives currently under development. Eventually, networks of offshore MP As will be designated throughout European marine waters, including around the UK. This thesis aims to contribute to the knowledge concerning the rights and use of space in the offshore marine environment, tensions between different policy initiatives, and the challenges and prospects for offshore marine nature conservation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available