Get Involved > How To Get Involved
Net Gain strongly believes that the development of MCZs needs to be guided and influenced by all those whose livelihoods or leisure activity could be changed or affected by them.
Stakeholder support is vital if we are to harness the knowledge and advice of those who use and understand the sea. Allowing stakeholders to shape the developing MPA network will furthermore build support for the MCZs once they are in place. The more local stakeholders are engaged with and support the identification of MCZs, the greater the likelihood we will succeed.
If the outcomes of Net Gain could affect you, or you have an interest in the future of the marine environment in our area, you are a stakeholder and we would like to hear from you.
How to Get Involved
MCZs will restrict some activities in some locations, in particular those that are more harmful to the marine environment. However, by involving stakeholders, including you, in a transparent selection process, we aim to ensure that the sites are very carefully chosen to minimise the impact of these restrictions.
We aim to ensure that any decisions we make balance the requirements of stakeholders such as you, with the need to protect important marine habitats and wildlife. With your involvement we will build a comprehensive picture of how the seas are used by fishermen, sea anglers, divers, boat owners and other stakeholders.
We have a team of liaison officers working in your region, who would be interested to talk with you. Using questionnaires and maps, they will record which parts of the seas and coasts you use, as well as your valuable, life-learned ecological knowledge such as the location of habitats and spawning grounds. This information will then be stored digitally and used by our decision support software to aid the MCZ site selection process. If you would like the liaison officers to come and talk to you or your group please don't hesitate to contact us.
There are 4 kinds of information that we are looking for:
Where do you go?
We need to understand how the sea is used. Stakeholders use the sea in many different ways, from a sea angler fishing from a single spot on the shore, to a cruising yacht making passage, from a crabber working a ground to a diver on a wreck. We aim to collect as much of this information as we can to ensure we understand how, where and when people use the seas around us. This can help us keep conflicts to a minimum during the planning stage.
What do you know?
Alongside scientific information, we need to make sure that we collect the life-learned ecological knowledge of stakeholders. This could include knowledge of spawning grounds or a particular kind of habitat such as a seagrass bed.
Where would you create MCZs?
Some stakeholders may wish to recommend a site (or sites) that they would like to be protected. Those sites that have been identified in this way will be taken into account, alongside many other sources of information, in the selection of MCZs. Areas which are already protected by natural features, 'gentlemen's agreements' or tradition should also be identified.
What are your views?
We are keen to hear any general comments you have about MCZs, the future of your leisure or livelihood activity and the Net Gain process. Your feedback is important to this process.
Defining who is and isn't a stakeholder is not easy but , for our purposes, we believe that anyone who might in any way benefit or lose out as a result of the MCZ network should be included. The list of people that this encompasses is long and, if you are reading this, it is likely that you are a stakeholder yourself.
Some examples of stakeholders who we are working with include:
- Commercial (eg, oil and gas, renewables, aggregates)
- Government (eg, MOD, DECC)
- Cultural heritage
- Commercial fishing
- Sea angling
- Wildlife enthusiasts
- Recreational sea users
- International Stakeholders