§ Angela Eagle
No assessment of the impact of personal watercraft on wildlife and the marine environment has been made by the Department.
Section 76 of the Public Health Act 1961 already provides for local authorities to make byelaws to regulate seaside pleasure boats for the prevention of danger, obstruction or annoyance to persons bathing in the sea or using the seashore. It is likely that personal watercraft can be regulated as pleasure boats under this Act, although a definitive interpretation is a matter for the courts.471W
My Department is leading an Inter-Departmental Working Party which is undertaking a review of byelaw powers for the coast. A discussion document issued in December 1996 identified coastal recreation management as a major issue. The many responses to this document are being analysed. The Working Party will meet again towards the end of the year to consider this analysis and agree an appropriate way forward.