Marine Life & Conservation
More Marine Conservation Zones in the UK Planned For 2015
Defra (the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs) have announced that a further 37 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) are being considered for designation in the UK in 2015.
The Marine Conservation Society commented:
We are pleased to hear this afternoon’s (24th February 2014) announcement by Defra that a further 37 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) are being considered for designation in 2015. However, this is still a long way off what is needed for a full network of protection to reduce the considerable decline in marine biodiversity in English waters.
At a meeting of stakeholders in London to discuss the development of the UK’s Marine Protected Area network, Defra announced the list of sites but said the official consultation on the second tranche of MCZs won’t begin until early 2015.
It’s good news that the Government has recognized the importance of providing more detail on which sites they are focusing on along with potential management measures. In the past, due to lack of information, there was some scaremongering and hype that the MCZs would prevent all activities when in most instances, low impact fishing and recreation will continue as before, though the use of bottom-towed gear will need managing.
It’s good to hear which sites Government has prioritised for the 2nd tranche of MCZs, but this is still a long way off the full network.
Melissa Moore, Senior Policy Officer said “It’s good to hear which sites Government has prioritised for the second tranche of MCZs, but this is still a long way off the full network. We hope this tranche, along with the promised third tranche are designated as soon as possible to prevent further damage. As before, we will help gather more data on the inshore sites through our volunteer Seasearch divers this year, but Government must designate more offshore sites for broadscale habitats too.”
27 MCZs were designated in the first tranche in November 2013 – one hundred shy of the 127 originally recommended as necessary to deliver England’s contribution to an Ecologically Coherent Network in UK seas.
Melissa Moore says MCS is extremely concerned that, as a result of Government’s de-regulation agenda, a number of Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs) are considering voluntary management measures, rather than byelaws: “We are presently awaiting more detail on management measures for the first 27 sites, but voluntary management has consistently been proven not to work. However great the buy in, one or two fishermen, often fishers from outside the local area can ruin the efforts of the majority. Without legal redress the good work of many can be spoiled, often irrevocably, by a few. It is vital that these MCZs are not ‘paper parks’.”
Here’s the list of 37 provisional sites to be considered for the second tranche of MCZs:
Coquet to St Mary’s
Cromer Shoal Chalk Beds
Dover to Deal
Dover to Folkestone
Norris to Ryde
Yarmouth to Cowes
North-West of Jones Bank
Greater Haig Fras
Newquay and the Gannel
Hartland Point to Tintagel
Bideford to Foreland Point
North of Lundy
South of Celtic Deep
East of Celtic Deep
Mid St Georges Channel
North St Georges Channel
Slieve Na Griddle
West of Walney
For more information, visit www.mcsuk.org
Marine Life & Conservation
The Shark Trust Great Shark Snapshot is back!
The last week of July will see the return of the Shark Trust’s citizen science initiative that invites divers and snorkelers, all around the world, to record the sharks and rays that they see between the 22nd and 30th. After the success of the first event, this year is going to be even bigger and better.
Information about the species and numbers of sharks and rays the participants find over the week will be added to the Shark Trust’s Shark Log. This global shark census will, over time, allow shark scientists to build a picture of species distribution and any changes that occur. Sharks are threatened by destructive fishing, climate change and habitat loss. The data collected during the Great Shark Snapshot will help scientists put effective conservation plans in place.
Dive clubs, centres, and liveaboards can sign up to show their support for this event and advertise their planned dives on the Great Shark Snapshot registration page. Divers looking to join an event will be able to use the map to find Great Shark Snapshot dives taking place near them. As well as gathering vital data, the event will provide a chance to celebrate the incredible shark and ray species that live close to you.
Caroline Robertson-Brown, Marketing Coordinator at the Shark Trust said: “It was wonderful to see so many divers take part in our first event last year. What is even better is seeing those dive centres and liveaboards returning to take part again this year, along with many more signing up for the first time.”
With the event still 2 months away, dive centres and liveaboards from over 20 countries have already signed up to take part. From Palau to Costa Rica. From the UK to Australia. Whether you are diving your local dive site, or on the diving trip of a lifetime. You can take part in the Great Shark Snapshot.
It is easy to join in. Just go diving between 22nd and 30th July and record every shark, ray and skate that your dive group sees. If possible, take photos and some video footage too. The Shark Trust really wants to see what species you encounter on your dives. Then make sure that you record your sightings on the Shark Trust Shark Log recordings website or by using the Shark Trust app.
The Great Shark Snapshot is a way for divers to get together, go diving, and do something to help shark conservation. Why not dive in?
Find out more here: www.sharktrust.org/snapshot
Fourth Element now planting a tree for every online order
Global dive brand Fourth Element has announced the launch of their “Plant for the Planet” initiative, a commitment towards offsetting their carbon footprint and supporting environmental conservation through tree planting and mangrove restoration.
As a brand dedicated to sustainability and environmental conservation, Fourth Element has partnered with Ecologi, a leading platform for climate action, to plant a tree for every online order received. By working with Ecologi, Fourth Element ensures that the trees and mangroves planted are part of verified reforestation projects around the world that have a positive impact on local communities and biodiversity.
Trees play a crucial role in the health of our planet, absorbing carbon dioxide and providing oxygen, while also supporting biodiversity. In addition, mangroves, which grow in coastal areas, are essential in protecting our oceans and mitigating climate change. They absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide and provide habitat for a wide range of marine life. However, both trees and mangroves are under threat from deforestation and development.
“Plant for the Planet” reflects Fourth Element’s commitment to taking responsibility for their impact on the environment and promoting sustainability in their business practices. By choosing to shop with Fourth Element, customers are also supporting the company’s efforts to protect the environment and promote positive change.
“We believe that it is our duty as a business to take action and make a positive impact on the planet,” said Paul Strike, CEO of Fourth Element. “Through our partnership with Ecologi and our ‘Plant for the Planet’ initiative, we are taking steps to offset our carbon footprint and support reforestation and mangrove restoration projects, which are critical for the health of our oceans and the planet as a whole.”
Fourth Element’s “Plant for the Planet” initiative is part of their ongoing commitment to sustainability and environmental conservation. The company continues to explore ways to reduce their environmental footprint and promote responsible practices within the dive industry.
For more information about Fourth Element and their “Plant for the Planet” initiative, please visit www.fourthelement.com/plant-for-the-planet.
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