Europe’s fish stocks are already on dangerous ground, but now that the UK will be leaving the EU they could be in far more danger of spiraling downward. Once Brexit is complete, they will no longer be obliged to follow the union’s “common fisheries policy” meaning that the nation’s fisheries could get new - more liberal - catch plans that further push fish stocks to the edge.
But while the UK has given full protection to marine areas in overseas territories like Pitcairn and Ascension islands they have been slow to do the same closer to home. For example, since the 127 Marine Conservation Zones were first proposed nearly a decade ago, only 40% have actually been designated. Leaving large swatchs of the marine life that inhabits our seas at risk.
As an island, the UK appreciates a strong connection with the sea. The government should not only work to protect the abundant marine environment, they should keep in mind that by doing so they protect the industries that depend on healthy seas and fish stocks as well.
From the short-beaked dolphin pods of South Celtic Deep to the seagrass meadows of Ryde and the century old clams of Compass Rose off the Yorkshire coast. These areas are both of national and international importance and deserve immediate protection.
Tell the UK to lead the way in marine conservation, even after Brexit, and show the world that our oceans deserve real protections. Sign the petition and ask the UK Marine Management Organisation to finish the job started in 2009. Sign the petition and ask the government to create the remaining 77 MCZs around the UK.