To mark the start of National Marine Week (Sat 30 Jul – Sun 14 Aug), The Wildlife Trusts are launching the ‘Petition Fish’ campaign in a bid to demonstrate public support for Marine Protected Areas.
Next year should see the UK’s first network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). To meet international obligations the Government must designate and establish an ecologically coherent network of MPAs around the UK by the end of 2012.
It is vital that we have enough of these areas, they are large enough and well protected. So, from 30 July, The Wildlife Trusts will be urging everyone to sign a scale online or text ‘FISH’ with your name and postcode to 60777.
As an island nation, we have a strong connection to the sea and the variety of life it sustains. Scientists have recently confirmed that our seas are under increasing stress from human impacts such as fishing, pollution and climate change. Experience from around the world shows that Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), where damaging activities are restricted, can help fragile marine ecosystems and wildlife to recover – and with this fish stocks.
Joan Edwards, The Wildlife Trusts’ head of Living Seas, said: “We have one year to create a strong network of protected areas for marine wildlife in the UK. One year to demonstrate the importance of healthy, well-protected seas – which can continue to support the demands we place on them for food, resources and climate regulation. Starting this National Marine Week, we want everyone to celebrate our seas, understand more about the threats facing native marine life, and get involved in protecting it.”