Professor Susan Owens appointed to Review Panel on Highly Protected Marine Areas

Professor Susan Owens OBE, FBA will once again play an important advisory role for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

She has been appointed as a member of the Review Panel advising Defra on the possible designation of Highly Protected Marine Areas in English seas.

If set up, these new, highly protected, areas would complement the existing network of 91 Marine Conservation Zones. The aim would be to restore these areas to an undisturbed natural state, allowing vulnerable marine species and habitats to recover in the absence of damaging human activities.

Professor Owens said, “I am very much looking forward to working with the Panel on this important topic. One of the most fascinating studies I was involved in as a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution was that on fisheries and the marine environment, leading to the ‘Turning the Tide’ report in 2004”

Professor Owens is Emeritus Professor of Environment and Policy at the University of Cambridge (Department of Geography), and Fellow Emerita of Newnham.

Review Chair, Richard Benyon MP said: “This panel brings a broad range of expert experience, including those who study, use and benefit from the bounty of our ocean. Together we will consider carefully over the course of the next six months whether and where we can go further to safeguard marine life balancing the interests of fishing, conservation and local communities.”