Environment Minister, John Griffiths launched a consultation in April that set out 10 potential sites as options for highly protected, Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs).
The Welsh Government is proposing the selection of a maximum of three or four sites which would be left to function as naturally as possible. This is to improve ecosystem recovery and resilience in Welsh seas and to learn more about the ways that marine ecosystems function.
The Government is keen to emphasise that it is still at the very early stages of this process. It wants to learn a lot more about the sites and the potential effects of designation on local communities and their local economy’s before making any decisions on the selected sites or the boundaries. The current consultation is the first of a three stage consultation process.
Environment Minister, John Griffiths said:
"This first stage in the consultation process is about gathering as much information as we can about the site options. That is why we are keen to encourage input and views from the public and from all groups with an interest, especially fishermen, environment groups and tourism and leisure operators.
"We will be holding a number of meetings with interested groups and organisations over the period of the consultation so that we can engage directly with them.
"We really are at a very early stage of this process and want to gather as much information and intelligence as possible to inform this work. No decisions have been made as yet and I would urge anyone with an interest to get involved and share their views. "
A public meeting is being held between 9.30am and 8pm on Wednesday 27 June at Merlin Theatre, Pembrokeshire College, Haverfordwest, SA61 1SZ .
A meeting is also being held between 9.30am and 8pm on Tuesday 3rd July at the Celtic Royal Hotel, Caernarfon, LL55 1AY.
If you would like to attend either event please register on the Welsh Government website.The Welsh Government is also holding a number of events for both recreational and commercial fisherman and would urge interested parties to come along and feed into the process.
The consultation will run until 31 July 2012. You can access the full consultation and a Q&A document on the Welsh Government website .