Our seas are in crisis, but we believe there is a solution. Our new report outlines how a radical approach to marine planning and a joined-up network of Marine Protected Areas could bring our seas back to their former abundance. This is the way back to Living Seas.

UK seas, 2017: plastic-strewn beaches, fisheries on the verge of collapse, unsustainable infrastructure development and the ever growing effects of global climate change. These are the pressures altering the balance of our seas, depleting its resources beyond safe limits and jeopardising what we take from it - from fish to energy to the air we breathe.

In 2019, the UK plans to leave the European Union. Before our departure, the Government must ensure there is a clear vision for our marine environment. While it is important that we retain existing EU law through the Withdrawal Bill and anticipated Fisheries Bill, this departure is a unique opportunity to build on existing mechanisms and improve the way we manage the sea.

The Wildlife Trusts has identified five unprecedented challenges that must be addressed before we leave the EU. Whilst some good progress has been made over the past 10 years, our fishing industry is not yet sustainable, our MPA network is not yet complete, marine creatures are killed everyday by pollution and our marine planning system does not yet adequately incorporate all the activities in the sea. We believe that the UK can do better in balancing the needs of both people and wildlife.

Our new report, The Way Back to Living Seas, outlines a new national marine strategy that revolutionises our approach to marine management and allows our seas to recover to their former abundance. This is a historic opportunity to change how we fish, how we extract resources such as aggregates and how we manage development at sea. Through a new marine planning system based on Regional Sea Plans and a joined-up network of Marine Protected Areas, we can safeguard marine wildlife and help the livelihoods of the many people who depend on the sea.

Integral to The Wildlife Trusts' vision, our new Marine Strategy also outlines how we could inspire a new generation who will love and care for our seas in the decades to come.

Read our report


Want to help?

Share our report or click here for ideas on how you can help bring our seas back to life. One quick and easy way to help our seas is to become a Friend of Marine Conservation Zones and support our campaign to complete the network.