July 25th, 2011, posted by Shore Crew Tags: Environment, Fish, Uncategorized, Wildlife

The UK’s seas hold a wealth of fantastic habitats and species from the second largest fish in the world-the basking shark, to fragile corals and sea fans. However, despite still finding over 50% of UK species in our seas, they are a shadow of their former selves. Fragile habitats have been destroyed, whether ripped up by fishing gear or contaminated by industry. Our species are also suffering- basking shark numbers have dropped by more than 95% and a number of our fish stocks have collapsed.

(Images courtesy of Paul Naylor)

It’s shocking to think that despite these declines, less than 0.001% of UK seas are currently protected from all damaging and degrading activities. If they are to recover and thrive; if they are to continue to provide us with the resources we depend on, we need to do better- we need a network of marine protected areas. These areas, offering protection to not just our most rare and fragile species but to the wide range of habitats and species found in UK seas are vital to give our seas the breathing space they need to recover. The Wildlife Trusts have launched a campaign- ‘Petition Fish’ in order to remind the UK and devolved governments of the importance of creating this network. They need as much support as possible to demonstrate the importance of healthy and well protected seas – that can continue to support the demands we place on them.

Stand up for UK seas- sign their petition online here or head to Wild Life Trusts and follow the link to National Marine Week to find out more about our marine events. Trusts across the UK will be carrying out activities from 30th July to 14th August so head on down to your local Trust to find out more about the marine environment and to sign to support UK seas.

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