In 1999 Defra (formerly DETR) established a working group to review marine nature conservation. This forum was set up to help Government develop possible future mechanisms to protect, conserve and manage nationally important marine wildlife in the seas around England. The original remit of the Working Group focused on territorial waters, but this position was revised in the summer of 2000 to cover the adjacent continental shelf and superjacent waters under UK jurisdiction (usually up to 200 nautical miles from the coast). The Working Group has a wide membership drawn from statutory and non-statutory organisations, industry and user groups with a particular interest in the marine environment. This report is one of five submitted by English Nature to the Working Group.
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