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This is ClientEarth’s response to the Marine Management Organisation’s proposals for the management of fishing activities in Margate and Longsands SAC. The MMO proposes to close only two small areas to bottom-towed fishing, while two large areas of sensitive habitat remain exposed.
The response highlights some inconsistencies in the assessment of the impacts of bottom-towed fishing on the habitats at the site and questions whether the legal requirements of the EU Habitats Directive have been complied with.
We call on the MMO to close the entire site to fishing as the only management option which is definitely legally compliant. At the very least, the closures should be extended to include all sensitive habitat types.