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Environmental Audit Committee finds a worrying landscape in Marine Protected Areas

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NEW REPORT: Marine Protected Areas Revisited

MPs from the cross party Environmental Audit Committee are disappointed with the government’s lack of ambition on designated Marine Protected Area (MPAs).

The Marine Protected Areas Revisited report published today found MPAs are not being effectively managed, and the Government needs to do more to protect vulnerable marine habitats, features and species once a site is designated as an MPA.

The Committee also expressed concern that the Government had moved the goal posts by setting unreasonably high standards of evidence for designating MPAs.

The Committee recommended that the Government should:

  • Adopt a precautionary principle approach to Tranche 3 site selection and designations.
  • Put in place strong monitoring and surveillance regimes to deter illegal activity.
  • Commit to establishing highly protected reference areas within the MPA network.
  • Provide support to the UK Overseas Territories to help them properly detect and deter illegal activities.
  • Provide its assessment of any additional budget and resources that will be provided to the Marine Management Organisation and the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities to enable them effectively to manage the third tranche of Marine Conservation Zones and Marine Protected Areas.

The Committee also found a number of concerns about the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs’ handling of MPAs, including:

  • The slow progress made in designating Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs). Only 50 MCZs have been designated so far — well short of the 127 sites originally recommended by the regional projects in 2011.
  • The Committee was shocked and disappointed by the Government’s decision to exclude highly protected reference areas from the Third Tranche of MCZs before the Government received expert evidence on the subject.
  • The delays in creating a well-coordinated and ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas. There are still a number of gaps remaining[1], particularly for sites to protect sand, mud and highly mobile species.
  • The Government’s unwillingness to provide adequate investment for the gathering of further evidence for the vulnerable areas.
  • Weaknesses in communicating the potential benefits of MPAs to stakeholders.

Mary Creagh MP, Chair of Environmental Audit Committee, said:

“It is worrying and disappointing the Government have still not got their act together on assigning the vulnerable Marine Protected Areas. The Government needs to focus on monitoring and protecting the current areas rather than moving the goal posts to create unachievable and over complicated demands on the management of susceptible areas. Without effective management, surveillance or monitoring our MPAs are just paper parks.

“The government needs to put firm plans in place to stop further degradation of our vulnerable ecological systems, before they are destroyed forever.”

Marine Protected Areas create significant opportunities and benefits for marine habitats and wildlife. It was clear that few people were aware of these potential benefits. The Government must implement a robust communications strategy to raise awareness of the MPA network amongst businesses and the general public.

Dr Jean-Luc Solandt, at the Marine Conservation Society, said “I am disappointed at the level of investment in marine protected areas, both in England and the wider UK. This report shows clearly that, in England, progress is limited to a number of inshore sites in the South West and North East, and is piecemeal and simply too slow elsewhere, particularly in areas further offshore. Funding needs to be prioritised to secure the benefits of protection for marine nature and for coastal communities who depend on it. The returns will be massive if we invest properly.”

“Progress has been made in our coastal waters, particularly the management of inshore waters around Cornwall, Isle of Scilles, Devon and Dorset, Yorkshire and Northumberland.”

Marine Life & Conservation

Jeff chats to… Veronica Cowley, a contestant in the See You at the Sea Festival Film Competition (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-large, chats to Veronica Cowley, a contestant in the See You at the Sea Festival Film Competition. The See you at the Sea Festival was an online film festival created by young people, for young people.

Veronica’s film – Worse things Happen at Sea – can be seen here:

Sixth and final in a series of six videos about the competition. Watch the first video HERE with Jenn Sandiford – Youth Engagement Officer with the Your Shore Beach Rangers Project and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust – to find out more about the Competition. Each day this week will be sharing one video in which Jeff talks with the young contestants about their films and what inspired them.


For more information please visit:

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Peli proud to support COVID-19 vaccine distribution

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We know Peli from its popular camera cases, but from discovery to distribution, Peli’s temperature-controlled packaging is now delivering COVID-19 vaccines all over Europe and the Middle East

With the pandemic recovery just underway, COVID-19 vaccines and therapies are rapidly becoming available for use and they must be safely distributed worldwide, within their required temperature range. Peli’s BioThermal™ division is providing temperature-controlled packaging to meet this critical moment, protecting these crucial payloads.

Peli’s innovative cold chain packaging has been trusted for nearly 20 years by pharmaceutical manufacturers to safely ship their life-saving products around the world. To meet the current challenge, they have adapted their existing products to provide deep frozen temperatures when required for the newly developed life sciences materials. Current and new offerings will ensure the cold chain is maintained throughout the vaccine or therapy’s journey, maximising efficacy and patient health.

“We know that pharmaceutical companies are in all phases of the development process for vaccines and therapeutics and working tirelessly to bring safe and effective drug products to market quickly,” said Greg Wheatley, Vice President of Worldwide New Product Development and Engineering at Peli BioThermal. “Our engineering team matched this urgency to ensure they have the correct temperature-controlled packaging to meet them where they’re at in drug development for the pandemic recovery, from discovery to distribution.”

Peli BioThermal’s deep frozen products use phase change material (PCM) and dry ice systems to provide frozen payload protection with durations from 72 hours to 144+ hours. Payload capacities range from 1 to 96 litres for parcel shippers and 140 to 1,686 litres for pallet shippers.

New deep-frozen solutions are ideal for short-term vaccine storage, redirect courier transport of vaccines from freezer farm hubs to immunisation locations and daily vaccine replenishment to remote and rural areas.

Peli BioThermal temperature-controlled packaging is currently being used to distribute COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, either directly or through global transportation providers, in Denmark, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the UK as well as in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East, with more countries set to join the list as the pandemic recovery process rolls out.

To learn more about the wide range of deep frozen Peli BioThermal shippers, visit Peli.com and PeliBioThermal.com for more information.

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