Befriend Our Marine Wildlife

Monday 23rd July 2012

Bottlenose dolphin cpt Harry Hogg

Help save our seas during The Wildlife Trusts’ National Marine Week

To mark the start of National Marine Week 2012, taking place from Saturday 28 July to Sunday 12 August, The Wildlife Trusts are recruiting ‘Friends of Marine Conservation Zones’.

The UK’s seas host some of our most fascinating wildlife – and some of the most diverse animals and plants in Europe – but they are in serious decline from overfishing, pollution and other harmful human activity.

Our seas are rich in so many fascinating species – from tiny corals to basking sharks, from anemones to water birds – yet  are seriously under threat.

To help restore and protect this vitally important habitat, 127 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in English and offshore Welsh waters have been recommended to the Government for protection, following consultation with more than a million stakeholders.

However, there are indications that only a small proportion of these will actually be designated.  To put pressure on the Government to designate the full suite of 127 recommended sites, The Wildlife Trusts are encouraging people to become ‘friends’ of their local MCZ.  Only by designating all the recommended MCZs can we provide protection to the full range of habitats in our waters, ensuring that species are able to move between protected habitats.

To help inspire people about the amazing diversity of our seas, and to encourage them to befriend their local MCZ, The Wildlife Trusts are hosting more than 80 exciting events around the country for National Marine Week 2012.

With your local Wildlife Trust you can really make the most of the fabulous UK seaside this summer – enjoy an educational ‘Shark, Skate and Ray Day’ in Cornwall, ‘Lunch and Limpets’ in Sussex, trips to the shore in Yorkshire, sea dipping in Norfolk, or a rockpool ramble in Durham.

In addition to the events, The Wildlife Trusts are also providing online details of locations, species and habitats for all 127 recommended MCZs.  And people can also help to save our seas by signing our ‘Petition Fish’, which is calling for the creation of an ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas.

Joan Edwards, Head of Living Seas at The Wildlife Trusts, said:

“Our seas are rich in so many fascinating species – from tiny corals to basking sharks, from anemones to water birds – and yet they are seriously under threat.  National Marine Week is the perfect opportunity for people to visit the seaside with their local Wildlife Trust and experience first-hand the stunning diversity of wildlife that our seas and shores have to offer, helping to understand the urgency and importance of protecting our vital marine habitats for the future.

“As well as having fun at one of our fantastic seaside events, people can make a real difference by becoming a friend of their local Marine Conservation Zone – reminding the Government of the urgent need to designate these fragile areas for protection.  With the right protection in place, the UK’s seas can become some of the most productive and wildlife-rich on earth.  We mustn’t miss this opportunity to act now, before it is too late.”

Click here for a full list of The Wildlife Trusts’ National Marine Week events:
http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/whats-on/nationalmarineweek

To read more about befriending your local MCZ, see here: http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/MCZfriends-signup

Sign our Petition Fish: http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/petitionfish

Tagged with: Living Seas