Marinet’s submission to UK Parliament Select Committee is critical of marine governance

Marinet has made a submission to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Select Committee and its Inquiry titled “Sustainable Seas”. Marinet has informed the Select Committee that:

  • We believe that there is a profound dishonesty in the way in which Government and Parliament conducts its affairs with regards to the sea and ocean. It makes decisions on a continual basis which are, if they were to be challenged in a court of law, would be found to be illegal e.g. setting fishing quotas in violation of the statutory terms of fisheries legislation and, in addition, deciding to establish and manage marine protected areas in a manner that negates their purpose and integrity contrary to legal commitments in UK and international law.
  • We believe that the Environmental Audit Committee is not exempt from this lack of integrity. This is not the first time that this Committee has examined these issues. It has taken evidence before — indeed, received evidence from us without failing to respond to it — where its deliberations and reports have failed to audit the legality of the Government’s and Parliament’s own behaviour and decision-making. The Committee has therefore overlooked wrongdoing and allowed such malfeasance to continue uncensored and unchecked.
  • The UK’s current legal and regulatory frameworks are inadequate to protect biodiversity, both historically and with regard to the future. This deficiency is contrary to the UK’s commitments in international law; and law enacted by the UK Parliament has failed to respond to these international obligations.
  • Aquaculture compared to fishing causes harm of equal severity to marine biodiversity. This is in a context where the harm caused by fishing — in terms of scale and technique — is already very profound.
  • The impact of pollution, which includes climate “change” (more correctly, climate “disruption”), is immense and will lead to widespread ecological collapse unless addressed with urgency. This urgency is much debated but is, effectively, unactioned.
  • The UK could eliminate the need for sand mining and aggregate dredging by installing enhanced recycling of building materials and, even more effectively, by the conversion of quarry waste into building aggregate by proven technology, currently operative in Japan and Australia.
  • The action of the UK in the forthcoming UN negotiations on the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources should give and enforce primacy to the integrity of the ocean – an obligation already established under Article 118 and 192 of the UNCLOS – and so manage all the ocean on the same terms as the international community manages the Southern ocean under the Convention (Commission) for the Conservation of Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).

To see Marinet’s full submission as a pdf file, click here.

 


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