The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has been shortlisted in the annual Charity Awards 2014, which are organised by Civil Society Media in the UK.
MCS has been selected for its campaign to achieve better marine protection for UK seas.
In November last year, 27 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) were created off the English coast covering 10,000 km2 , and committed to a full network of Marine Conservation Zones by 2016.
In the run up to the announcement, MCS had mobilised thousands of people to pledge their support for better marine protection and take part in a public consultation. The charity organised a rally on Westminster – which was supported by TV chef and conservationist, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – worked with politicians, and staff had appeared in front of Commons committees giving evidence on the issue.
The awards, now in their 15th year, help showcase the diverse work that takes place across the sector and, say the organisers, draw attention to the ‘remarkable impact these charitable endeavours add to our society.’
Thomas Bell, MCS’ Campaigns Manager, says simply to be shortlisted for this highly prestigious award is a huge accolade for MCS: “To see our work ranked among the very best campaigns in the charity sector is just amazing, a fantastic reward to all the supporters who put their faith in us. Success will open doors and means any charity will be taken a great deal more seriously by policy-makers, commissioners and funders who understand what winning this award says about the organisation’s work.”
MCS is up against Foodcycle and Plymouth Marine Laboratory in the Environment and Conservation category.
MCS will find out if they have won at a gala dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Thursday 12th June 2014. Staff from all the shortlisted charities will be among an audience which will include charity leaders and celebrities from the worlds of theatre, television, music and sport, including Trevor Eve, Sharon Maughan, Hermione Norris, Larry Lamb, David Harewood, Judy Parfitt and Bill Turnbull.
The Big Shark Pledge: Shark Trust’s new campaign kicks off with a call for support
With the ink still drying on last week’s landmark listing of nearly 100 species of sharks on Appendix II of CITES, the Shark Trust insists that this is not the time for shark conservation to take a break. The UK-based NGO this week launches its biggest-ever concerted campaign to tackle the overfishing of oceanic sharks. They are calling on people across the world to join the call for stricter controls on high seas fisheries.
The Big Shark Pledge is at the heart of an ambitious set of campaign actions. Working to secure science-based catch limits on all sharks and rays affected by the international high seas fishing fleet. The pledge will build the largest campaigning community in shark and ray conservation history to support a raft of policy actions over the vital years ahead.
Many of our best known and much-loved sharks make their home on the high seas. In our shared ocean, these oceanic sharks and rays face a very real threat from a huge international fleet of industrial-scale fishing vessels. Research published in early 2021 confirmed that over three-quarters of oceanic sharks and rays are now at risk of extinction due to the destructive impact of overfishing. They have declined by 71% over the last 50 years.
The Shark Trust is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year and has a long history of securing positive changes for sharks, skates and rays. The Big Shark Pledge will build on the success of their NoLimits? campaign which underpinned landmark catch limits on Blue Sharks and Shortfin Mako in the North Atlantic.
“While the listing of so many species on the CITES trade agreement is certainly a positive step, there remains a huge challenge in ensuring that sustainable practices are embedded in international fisheries.” says Shark Trust Director of conservation, Ali Hood. “Sharks on the high seas face extraordinary pressure from excessive fishing practices. This has to be addressed through international agreements such as those secured for Blues and makos.”
There is hope and a feeling of momentum in the shark conservation community. Just last week, in addition to the new CITES listings, the Shark Trust, working with partners in the Shark League, secured the first-ever international quota for South Atlantic Mako at ICCAT meeting in Portugal. The new campaign from the Shark Trust aims to push forwards from here, engaging a wave of support through the Big Shark Pledge to bolster policy action.
This will be a long-term international and collaborative effort. Forging a pathway to rebuild populations of high-seas sharks and rays. By putting science at the heart of shark conservation and fisheries management. And making the vital changes needed to set populations on the road to recovery.
Shark Trust CEO Paul Cox says of the Big Shark Pledge “It’s designed to give everyone who cares about the future of sharks the chance to add their voice to effective and proven conservation action. By adding their name to the Pledge, supporters will be given opportunities to apply pressure at key moments to influence change.”
Fourth Element X Sea Shepherd
This year on Black Friday, fourth element announced their new partnership with Sea Shepherd, encouraging people to move away from mindless purchasing and to opt-in to supporting something powerful.
For 40 years Sea Shepherd, a leading non-profit organisation, has been patrolling the high seas with the sole mission to protect and conserve the world’s oceans and marine wildlife. They work to defend all marine wildlife, from whales and dolphins, to sharks and rays, to fish and krill, without exception.
Inspired by Sea Shepherd’s mission, fourth element have created a collection of fourth element X Sea Shepherd limited edition products for ocean lovers and protectors, with 15% of every sale going to the Sea Shepherd fund to help continue to drive conservation efforts globally.
“Working with Sea Shepherd gives fourth element the opportunity to join forces with one of the largest active conservation organisations in the world to try to catalyse change in people’s attitudes and behaviour. Fourth Element’s products are designed, developed and packaged with the intention of minimising our impact on the ocean environment, and with this partnership, we will be supporting the work of Sea Shepherd, in particular in their work on dealing with the twin threats of Ghost fishing nets and plastic pollution.”
Jim Standing fourth element co-founder
Read fourth element’s Sea Shepherd Opinion Piece HERE
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