Marine environment

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The page will automatically redirect to Marine environment Research Briefings produced by the Commons Library, Lords Library and POST

Content published before December 2016

Commons Briefing Papers

15.09.2016UK offshore oil and gas industry
This Commons Library briefing paper provides a summary of the state of the UK offshore oil and gas industries and outlines the industry, the regulatory framework and key challenges for the industry.
25.05.2016Microbeads and microplastics in cosmetic and personal care products
This briefing paper is concerned with the use of microplastics and microbeads, which are small plastic pieces, in a variety of cosmetic and personal care products. It discusses their possible impacts on the environment and human health. It outlines the steps being taken to phase-out microplastics in cosmetic and personal care products, and provides information on legislative bans.
10.02.2016UK and European sea bass conservation measures
Seabass - an important fish species for commercial fishermen and recreational anglers. This note addresses issues around seabass Minimum Landing Size, stock management and current Government policy, and the emergency conservation measures in 2015/16
17.07.2015Marine Conservation Zones in England
Marine Conservation Zones are being introduced to protect nationally important marine environments. 127 sites were put forward by regional stakeholder groups, and the Government designated 27 sites in 2013. The Government consulted on a second tranche of MCZs early in 2015. It is expected that the Government will announce a third tranche of candidate MCZ sites in 2016.
22.12.2014UK Fishing Quota Agreements for 2015
This House of Commons Library Standrad Note summarises the negotiations and decisions taken over UK fishing quota agreements for 2015 made under the reformed Common Fisheries Policy.
21.12.2012Icy fishing: UK and Iceland fish stock disputes
In spite of generally excellent bilateral relations, Iceland and the UK have had a number of fisheries disputes. There are now increasing tensions between the two parties after Iceland started catching large quantities of mackerel. Iceland has been condemned for 'plundering' the stock and for threatening its long-term future. The stock is worth some 200 million to the UK economy. The dispute has become known as the Mackerel War.
18.07.2012Antarctica: the treaty system and territorial claims
The unique treaty system that protects the Antarctic is constantly updated and sometimes challenged. A current Private Member's Bill would implement recent changes in the UK.
24.05.2011Declaration 25 of the Treaty on European Union: Danish Territories and whaling
Denmark has invoked Declaration No. 25 TEU in support of the whaling activities of its territories, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Denmark's reliance on this Declaration at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has prevented the EU from presenting a more united stand on whaling issues at the IWC.
17.03.2011Wreck Removal Convention Bill 2010-11
This note briefly describes the Wreck Removal Convention Bill 2010-11; a Private Members' Bill sponsored by Dr Th&eacuterèse Coffey MP. The Bill provides measures to enable the United Kingdom to ratify and implement the International Convention for the Removal of Wrecks. It would insert new sections and a Schedule into the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.
01.07.2010Marine litter: 'continents' of rubbish
A large amount of plastic is accumulating in large areas of the sea. These areas have been dubbed 'great garbage patches' or 'plastic continents'. The long term environmental impacts of marine plastic pollution are unknown. There are concerns that it may lead to chemical contaminants entering the food chain, although more research is required.


05.06.2016Marine Microplastic Pollution
Plastic pollution is accumulating rapidly in the world's oceans. The potential effects of microplastics on the environment and human health are an area of active research. This POSTnote summarises their sources and spread, the evidence that they present a risk and possible strategies to reduce plastic pollution.
25.09.2015Deep Sea Mining
In March 2013, the Prime Minister said that deep-sea mining could be worth 40bn to the UK over the next 30 years. This briefing summarises the framework governing activity in international waters. It also describes the mineral deposit types being considered and the proposed extraction methods, potential environmental effects and mitigation options.
25.10.2013Negative Emissions Technologies
If emissions of greenhouse gases are not sufficiently mitigated, it may become necessary to artificially accelerate the rate at which they are removed from the atmosphere in order to restrict global warming. This POSTnote provides an overview of some technologies that could remove atmospheric CO2 and summarises the environmental, social and economic issues they raise.
06.06.2013Selection of Marine Conservation Zones
Marine Conservation Zones may contribute to the protection and recovery of the marine environment. This POSTnote examines the process and approach used to select and designate zones, and difficulties in identifying and managing suitable areas.
15.09.2011Marine planning
This POSTnote describes the marine planning process and considers the challenges it will face.
01.09.2010Sea level rise, September 2010
This POSTnote summerizes the causes of sea level rise, and the uncertainties in and the consequences for UK climate change adaptation.

Select Committee Reports

25.01.2011The marine policy statement.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
14.07.2009Legislative scrutiny: Marine and Coastal Access Bill;
Government response. Human Rights Joint Select Committee report [Commons and Lords]
31.03.2009Legislative scrutiny: Health Bill; Marine and Coastal Access Bill.
Human Rights Joint Select Committee report [Commons and Lords]

Early Day Motions

That this House congratulates the five strong Row for Freedom crew on their historic achievement of completing the fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by an all-female team and the ...
That this House condemns the departure of the Japanese whaling fleet for Antarctica with the intention of killing almost 1,000 whales; believes that whaling is cruel and unnecessary ...
That this House deplores the decision of the Secretary of State for Transport and the Shipping Minister to recommend the closure of the Swansea Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre ...
That this House congratulates the Save Swansea Coastguard Campaign, established to oppose the Government's recommendation to close Swansea Maritime Rescue Centre at Mumbles, for its ...
That this House notes that HM Treasury has written to hon. Members explaining the details ofthe new Coastal Communities Fund; further notes that this fund will see over 23 million invested ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses