Wildlife Trusts call for new UK Marine Strategy following Brexit

The Wildlife Trusts, October 2017: A unique chance for the UK to become a world leader in marine management. Seize the moment!

In 2019 the UK plans to leave the European Union. While it is important that we retain existing EU law through the Withdrawal Bill and anticipated Fisheries and Agriculture Bills, this departure is a significant opportunity to build on existing mechanisms and improve the way we manage the sea.

This would be a massive moment for our seas and their wildlife. This document, The Way Back To Living Seas sets out The Wildlife Trusts’ proposals for a new UK Marine Strategy.

This would guide how we develop industry at sea, how we fish within environmental limits and how we can restore our marine ecosystems so that we have seas full of fish and wildlife. All sea users would be involved in its development.

Our seas are threatened by pollution, unsustainable exploitation and infrastructure development, destructive fishing practices and, increasingly, the effects of global climate change.

These pressures are altering the ecological balance, depleting resources beyond safe biological limits and jeopardising what we take from the sea.

But this can be turned around. A national Marine Strategy gives us the opportunity to change how we fish, how we extract resources such as aggregates, and how we manage planning at sea.

With the right guidance and ambition we can create thriving seas and a strong Blue Economy — globally recognised and the pride of our country.

This would help to provide economic security and essential benefits for all citizens. And we could inspire a new generation who will love and care for our seas in the decades to come.


Source: The Wildlife Trusts, October 2017. For further details, see www.wildlifetrusts.org/node/141015


Marinet observes: Marinet greatly welcomes this positive attitude of The Wildlife Trusts. Although some fear what will happen once the UK stands outside the EU, the reality is that we will become solely responsible for what we do.

This is an immense opportunity to set the highest standards, and with the sea and ocean facing a very great challenge to its ecological health on many fronts this will be a task calling for good sense and integrity.

Britain has already said in recent government policy statements that we are now seeking to be the first generation to leave the condition of the environment in a better condition than we found it and, if this is to mean what these words declare, then some new directions and genuinely original approaches to management of our activities are going to be required.

We all know that this is what is required. We also all know that government action has continually fallen short of this requirement, despite all the propaganda and public relations seeking to persuade otherwise. This declaration of aspiration by The Wildlife Trusts mirrors exactly that of Marinet. We hope it will resonate equally with those of UK Governments in the future as we take control of our destiny.


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