§ Mr. Mullin
The Countryside Amenity and Conservation Bill will include provisions to protect Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and on Wildlife Enforcement, both of which will significantly improve species protection, although not aimed specifically at aquatic species. Wildlife crime, including crime relating to aquatic species, will be punishable by tougher measures such as custodial sentences.
In addition to these provisions we are actively discussing with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee what further measures might be appropriate to protect threatened species including aquatic species. Work is under way on proposals, including points arising from the review of the schedules affording protection to species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, with a view to issuing a consultation document next year.