Members voted unanimously in favour of Constable Karen Shenton-Stone’s proposition calling for a protection framework to be put together for Jersey’s offshore reefs and the minister to be given greater powers to prevent dogs and other animals from being taken to them.
Outlining her proposals, Mrs Shenton-Stone said that it was ‘essential’ that the States acted to protect the wildlife at the reefs.
The Ecréhous forms part of her parish, while the Minquiers come under the responsibility of Grouville.
‘It is clear that we can go further than what is currently in place,’ she said,
‘The Ecréhous are a critical breeding habitat for a rich tapestry of wildlife, including seals, roseate terns – which are so rare they are the holy grail of terns – common terns, shags, cormorants, great and lesser black-backed gulls, herring gulls, oyster catchers and rock pipits.
‘Through this biodiversity, the Ecréhous have become a globally recognised RAMSAR site as well as a OSPAR marine protected area.
‘However it is clear that there are concerns over the protection to it and its sibling reefs.’
During a States sitting earlier this year, Environment Minister John Young said, in response to a question from Deputy Kirsten Morel, that there had been an increase in the number of breeding birds on the Ecréhous this year.
The minister suggested that the rise might have been due to fewer people visiting the reef because of the Covid-19 restrictions.
The proposition was approved by 47 votes to zero by Members.