David Levy – The Need to Adapt and to Expand Horizons – Aug 2016

This will be my last blog before our AGM where I hope to see as many of you as can make it.

Marinet has certainly undergone a transition period, emerging from the shadow of the previous decade with a clear view of the reality of the conservation lobby, along with the management by international and national governments of our oceans and seas.

It will be no surprise to you to read that we have found that the mildew infecting the NGO movement is rampant, and it has infected their ability to effect change. It is a fact that the only time they officially speak out in campaign mode is when they support Government.

Their support for the “remain” camp during the recent referendum is such an example. At all other times, charity law and sponsorship have shackled the NGO movement towards inactivity.

This has placed Marinet in a unique position where we can advise, speak out, and push the boundaries for change. We have learnt many lessons — principally that the bureaucracy which has been designed by Government and their agencies is there to lead the individual down endless cul-de-sacsSAC Special Areas of Conservation and thus milk the time allocations given for consultation.

It’s a deliberate design to deliver business as usual. Industry has these agencies behind them. And as these agencies are the regulator, what they say goes. So the question is — How do we effect change and expand horizons?

  1. Exposure of the issue in the press, and so gain public involvement.
  2. Legal oversight and, where necessary, judicial review.
  3. Shine a light in any possible way on the issue. Speak to the agency’s CEO, and keep the pressure up by asking them to justify decisions made.
  4. Public Meetings, exhibitions, invitations to the agency’s decision-makers.
  5. Publicize what happens as an educational resource in order to inform and benefit others.
    Realistically, everything is stacked against Marinet’s work. But exposure to our questioning is never wasted, and the agencies do have decent officials working in confined spaces and within set parameters.

    I have certain sympathies with these agencies which are themselves controlled by government budgets.

    That sympathy is measured, as they do have a responsibility to ask Government for the resources they need to do the job properly. They don’t, therefore they are part of the problem.

    This is another example of the pragmatic world out-pacing the world of sustainable management.

    The Marinet Directors commissioned Sarah Malabar, an international film maker who made our CFP/subsidies short film, to review how we could broaden our message and that will provide food for thought and discussion at our AGM.

    Have a happy summer.
    David Levy, Marinet Chair

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