Whilst the Town Council was not consulted directly, it was most concerned to hear that the government, through the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, was proposing to establish a marine conservation area on the Maryport coast, given its potential impact on the area. Given that it had not been consulted & that the time period allowed for consultation had been so short, the Council wrote to Baroness Sue Hayman at the House of Lords, who was dealing with the matter at that level. The Council expressed the following concerns:
- The social and economic impacts would be huge on an already struggling area.
- Three charter boats from Maryport fish solely in Allonby Bay.
- Numerous leisure craft also fish regularly in the bay.
- Countless angling parties come to fish on the charter boats spending money in shops, cafés, restaurants, hotels and guesthouses, not to mention fishing tackle shops and pubs.
- Maryport Marina and Caravan Site & Maryport Aquarium businesses would be adversely affected.
- Caravan sites all along the coast from Maryport to Allonby would be affected; since many people just come for the fishing.
- Leisure anglers on the beach do very little damage to the environment, if any.
- Many leisure anglers have fished in this area for decades & there would no doubt be a negative impact on mental health.
- If leisure anglers were forced to fish five miles off shore and got into difficulty, there was an added danger caused by the time to reach them by rescue craft.