Earlier this week (June 15th), the government launched the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).
The group has been running since April but industry members including fishermen, developers and conservationists gathered in the north-east to officially declare the group operational.
Hailed as a “turning point for the sustainable use of our seas”, the MMO will be responsible for protecting the marine environment while allowing for development.
It aims to balance the extension of marine industries, including renewable energy generation from wind farms, with the need to “conserve and protect marine species and habitats”.
BBC presenter Nicholas Crane commented on the launch: “One of the things I’ve realised in recent years is that we haven’t been treasuring the sea, the seabed, the seashore, in the same way that we’ve learned to protect the land.
“The creation of the MMO changes all that. Treating the sea as a habitat equal to land habitats will be seen in coming years as a defining moment.”