Posted 26th Jun 2018 by Peter Byrne
A new campaign, #WaveOfSupport, has launched to give everyone across the country the chance to back 41 new Marine Conservation Zones, protecting our part of the Blue Planet around the English coast
The government has recently launched a consultation which is asking the public for their views about protecting a new group of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) - these are areas at sea where the wildlife is protected from damaging activities.
41 special places have been chosen for the public to comment on, ranging from seagrass meadows in Dorset's Studland Bay, to special mud habitats in the Irish Sea.
None of these places are designated unless there is public support for their protection, which is why The Wildlife Trusts are calling on the public to have their say, joining a giant #WaveOfSupport e-action campaign which provides a message to the government calling for all 41 potential MCZs to be both recognised and protected.
The public have until Friday 20th July to make their views known. The e-action can be completed here:
Joan Edwards, Director of Living Seas at The Wildlife Trusts, said: "It’s rare that people get a chance to influence the future of our precious seas and the beautiful but fragile wild places and animals that live there. Since The Wildlife Trusts’ president emeritus, Sir David Attenborough, brought us the Blue Planet series, there’s been a surge of interest in the wonders of marine life coupled with horror at the threats facing the delicate marine environment. We’re offering people a way of channelling this concern into a giant wave of public support to create a network of protected special places at sea."
Commenting on the Government’s consultation which opened on 8th June, Joan Edwards said at the time: "We’ve been calling for the government to give real protection to a connected network of diverse sea-bed habitats since 2009. Only 50 Marine Conservation Zones have been designated so far and this new consultation on 41 special places is really good news. We need to restore the sea-bed that has been ravaged over the past century and allow fragile marine life to recover – and this can only be done with good management. Without these astonishing submerged landscapes there simply wouldn't be any fish, let alone fantastic jewel anemones, seahorses, and all the other wild and extraordinary creatures which are part of a healthy marine ecosystem."
The Wildlife Trusts believe the consultation is a step in the right direction for our seas, with proper protection of these sites after designation being essential to ensure our seas will be given the chance to recover.
Image courtesy of Paul Naylor