Minister in the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Richard Benyon will visit the Isle of Wight today (Monday) to hear Islanders’ thoughts on the proposed Marine Conservation Zones.
They are areas where marine life and habitats would be protected, concentrating on parts of the shore and seabed affected by damaging human activity.
DEFRA’s consultation on the proposed Zones draws to an end on Sunday.
Under the plans Bembridge with its sponges, anemones and corals and the crab and lobsters at St Catherine’s Point would be granted special protection.
So too would the south east’s largest seagrass meadows (200 hectares), along the Island’s north coast from Norris Castle to Ryde, plus the Needles and the Yarmouth to Cowes coastline.
The scheme is being backed by many wildlife groups, but it would mean activities including dredging, trawling and diving would be restricted.
Mr Benyon will meet harbour masters, commercial fishermen and Island anglers as well as the Island’s MP Andrew Turner during his visit and there will be a public meeting to allow people to comment on the plans.
The meeting takes place at midday at the Riverside Centre, Newport.