Conservation scientists have identified eight "biodiversity hotspots" aroundBritain's coast which they say ought to be priorities for protection. The Marine Biological Association (MBA) and WWF want these areas to be givenprotected status under the government's proposed Marine Bill. They include areas of importance for fish, mammals, birds and shellfish. The government says it remains committed to introducing a Marine Bill withinthis term of Parliament. Its absence from the Queen's Speech surprised and angered conservationgroups. Publication of a white paper could come as early as March.
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