Thursday, April 25, 2013

86 Environmental Academics Attack UK Government For Reneging On Marine Conservations Zones

At the beginning of March I wrote an article on the Quillcards Blog about the UK government's reneging from its promise to set up 127 Marine Conservation Zones around the UK.

Instead, the Government proposes just 31 zones, and none is fully protected.

I wrote the article in support of the work of the protest group at Fish Fight.

Now, as reported in the Guardian, scientists have attacked the government climbdown on marine protection.


Now 86 environmental academics have written to Benyon, David Cameron and the environment secretary, Owen Paterson urging them to beef up their plans for protection.
"We have seen spectacular devastation in the Irish sea in the last 20 years, for example, due to scallop dredging and prawn trawling. As fish stocks get ever more squeezed, the use of ever more destructive gear is spreading. This is happening now and protection is long overdue," said Professor Callum Roberts, at the University of York and one of the experts. "Even if all 31 MPZs were established, it will fall far short of what is needed to recover and safeguard English seas. The process has been seriously mishandled, potentially condemning the marine environment to many more years of overexploitation and degradation."
Roberts said: "There is a strong suspicion among my colleagues that the government has yielded to political pressure from the fishing industry, in effect handing them control over a process that was meant to be democratic and inclusive."

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