Connect with us
background

Marine Life & Conservation

‘Motion For The Ocean’ passed by first city council – Marine Trio ask councils across the country to follow suit

Published

on

The need for Ocean recovery to mitigate some of the worst impacts from the climate emergency is urgent. A trio of Marine organisations have come together to call the UK’s councils to arms to take action. The ‘Motion For the Ocean’ has its first city advocate, the city of Plymouth.

Marine social scientist Dr Pamela Buchan, the Ocean Conservation Trust’s Nicola Bridge and Emily Cunningham from the Local Government Association Special Interest Group, are asking councils around the UK to endorse a new ‘Motion for the Ocean’, recognising the importance of the world Ocean for climate change, and the role that local and national governments need to play to maintain it.

Last week, Plymouth City Council was the first in the UK to declare an urgent need for Ocean Recovery. The team are now proposing city councils across the country follow suit.

The Ocean Recovery Declaration Motion, or ‘Motion for the Ocean’ proposes the following pledges:

  • Make sure local councils consider the Ocean when making decisions around budgets, planning, skills and regeneration.
  • Ensure that industries that are linked to the sea, such as fishing, marine technology, renewable energy and aquaculture, continue to develop in a sustainable and equitable way.
  • Create an Ocean portal to show progress on this work.
  • Request that central government do everything within their power to put the Ocean into recovery.
  • Ensure that all pupils have a first-hand experience of the Ocean before leaving primary school.
  • Support and promote sustainable and equitable access to the Ocean through physical and digital experiences.

Nicola Bridge, Head of Ocean Advocacy and Engagement at the Ocean Conservation Trust, said: “All of our work at the Ocean Conservation Trust is centred around people. Our Think Ocean Challenge is designed specifically to bring the ocean to the forefront of people’s minds and help them to think about the ocean in their everyday lives. For too long, the ocean has been missing from discussions at local and national government levels, meaning that decisions are made that do not reflect the importance of a healthy ocean. At policy level, ocean health is not recognised as essential for human health. We are pleased to have been part of the creation of this model ‘Ocean Recovery Motion’ and hope to see councils across the UK adopting it and taking steps towards better recognition of the importance of ocean health.”

2021 is the start of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and the year the UK has taken centre stage in climate and environmental political action at COP26 in Glasgow in November and the G7 in Cornwall in the summer. With the COP26 agreement recognising that we need to “consider how to integrate and strengthen Ocean-based action”, the time is now for government at all levels to recognise the need for ocean action.

International Environment Minister Lord Zac Goldsmith said at COP26: “The ocean plays a unique role in regulating our climate. There is no pathway to net zero – or any of our shared global goals – that does not involve protecting and restoring nature, including the Ocean, on an unprecedented scale.”

As well as a series of asks for local authorities, the evidence-based Motion for the Ocean draws on a list of national government actions proposed by marine scientists, including lead author Dr Sian Rees from the University of Plymouth, to improve marine conservation management and help the UK to become a global leader in fisheries management and marine conservation.

Coastal local authorities have a range of coastal responsibilities within their powers, including coastal defence and flooding, shoreline management, and contribution to marine protected area management. All local authorities, however, can share in the collective responsibility to improve marine management through a wide range of strategies and actions, including educational approaches; water, waste and land management; and the full remit of climate emergency actions many have already committed to. The Motion for the Ocean embraces the Source-to-Sea approach, highlighting the direct connection that we all have to the sea through rivers and drainage, and the important impact of land-based carbon emissions on ocean health.

Cllr Dr Pamela Buchan, Labour Councillor, marine social scientist and the motion proposer, said: “For too long, the ocean has been side-lined in climate debates and taken for granted by our island nation. The weight of ocean-focused events at COP26 show that the tide is turning, and people and politicians are beginning to understand that we can’t mitigate the impacts of climate change without addressing how we use and manage our coastal and ocean environments.

“The motion recognises the importance of connecting people to the ocean, rather than excluding them from it. We need to change our approach to how we use the sea so that it can recover from our harmful impacts, and coastal communities can benefit from sustainable marine industries and businesses and the wellbeing that the coast offers. There is something for everyone in this motion: a chance for people to engage in marine citizenship and ask their elected representatives for action; a chance for local authorities to recognise the value of the marine environment, even if they are inland; and key asks for national government to improve their policies and actions.”

Cllr Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth City Council’s Labour Group, said: “As Britain’s Ocean City, it was vital that our Council took a lead in calling for firm action for ocean recovery. Damage to the environment isn’t always visible or obvious. When we set up the UK’s first National Marine Park, in Plymouth Sound, it was in part to focus attention on what lies beneath the waves, and also to ensure that future generations can continue to benefit from what the area and our rich local coastline can offer in terms of sustainable jobs, health and wellbeing.”

Emily Cunningham, Lead Officer of the LGA Coastal Special Interest Group, said: “Coastal local authorities are working hard to bring about a brighter future for the communities we serve, yet too often we overlook the opportunities and benefits that a healthy ocean could provide. The LGA Coastal Special Interest Group recognise that our ocean is in a state of emergency and that local government has an important role to play in recovering it to health. This model motion has been developed to help Councils, whether they are coastal or inland, identify ways they can make a difference for the ocean. We are ready to support all Councils in stepping up to take ocean action now. There’s no time to waste.”

Dr Sian Rees, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Plymouth said: “An Ocean Recovery Declaration signals that a Local Authority fully recognises the role of the ocean in supporting human wellbeing. This declaration therefore sets an increased ambition for ocean conservation that will not only work to reverse the global decline in marine biodiversity but, more importantly, enable increased security for the lives and livelihoods that depend on healthy marine ecosystems.”

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

Marine Life & Conservation

Jeff chats to… Joanna Ruxton MBE, filmmaker and conservationist, about her life and work (Watch Video)

Published

on

“If you really care about our oceans and ultimately the planet on which we all live then do listen to what Jo Ruxton has to say about how we need to act now if we are to stop and reverse this destructive global trend we have created for ourselves and all other life.”

Jeff Goodman

In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Joanna Ruxton MBE, film maker and conservationist, about her life and work, ‘A Plastic Ocean’ (Netflix) and her new project Ocean Generation.

Jo graduated from London University with a degree in Marine Science.  She started the first marine programme for WWF in Hong Kong, where she raised her family, and was a key advocate for the establishment of the first marine parks there.

She returned to live in the UK and was a Producer at the BBC Natural History Unit and a lead member of the BBC’s diving team, producing and directing underwater sequences since the first days of filming on Blue Planet.

Disappointed in the lack of conservation messages in BBC films, she left in 2008 to work independently to produce, A Plastic Ocean, (Netflix).  She founded the charity, Ocean Generation (formerly Plastic Oceans).

She lives in Cornwall close to her daughters and their families and when not diving on location she enjoys cold-water sea swimming, whatever the season.  Jo was awarded an MBE in the 2022 New Year’s Honours for services to marine conservation.

About Ocean Generation | UK Charity No. 1139843

Ocean Generation is an inclusive global movement that exists to restore a sustainable relationship between humanity and the Ocean.

Founded in 2009, the charity was established initially to support the production and message of our award-winning documentary feature, ‘A Plastic Ocean’, named by Sir David Attenborough as “one of the most important films of our time” and ignited mass public awareness about the impact of plastic on our Ocean.

No ordinary NGO, Ocean Generation combines the disruptive energy of a youth collective with years of experience in storytelling through science and film.

Find out more at www.oceangeneration.org


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

Continue Reading

Marine Life & Conservation

Incredible underwater Cornish adventure awaits 400 lucky teens

Published

on

An education programme and competition, set to change the lives of 400 teenagers has launched to bring the crucial message of marine conservation to the heart of secondary school pupils nationwide.

DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL in conjunction with PADI the world’s largest ocean exploration and diver organisation, believe it is every young person’s right to experience the ocean and that educating children about the wonders of the planet’s marine environment, the crucial part it plays in our existence and that of all ocean life, will help safeguard our seas for future generations.

Dive Project Cornwall has launched the ambitious project to educate hundreds of thousands of young people by delivering an education programme directly into schools across the UK, in partnership with the Marine Conservation Society. Their mission is to raise awareness of the importance of the planet’s marine environment and its vital role in our very own existence.​

At the heart of Dive Project Cornwall is a nationwide competition which will invite pupils to design and document a marine creature using recyclable plastics.

Open to all secondary schools, 400 lucky teenagers will win the experience of a lifetime: a 6-day, life-changing trip to Cornwall where they will learn to scuba dive at a PADI Dive Centre, enjoy outdoor adventures, take up beach-related activities and attend presentations from leading marine industry experts.

This will encourage teenagers to become PADI Open Water Divers and PADI Torchbearers – ocean influencers who positively engage, inspire and motivate the next generation to save our planet.

Registration closes in mid-April and a panel of judges will select the winners on 30th May. The judging panel confirmed to date includes: Emma Samuelsson, Regional Manager, PADI, EMEA; Kim Conchie, Deputy Lieutenant of Cornwall; Malcolm Bell MBE, Head of Tourism at Visit Cornwall; Trevor Osborne, Chairman, The Trevor Osborne Property Group; Paul Strike, Founder & Director, Fourth Element; and Hannah Tapping, Editor, Cornwall Living & Drift.

Emma Samuelsson, Regional Manager, PADI, EMEA, tells us: “PADI is delighted to partner with Dive Project Cornwall to provide the 400 winning students with PADI Open Water Diver eLearning. PADI Dive Centres in Cornwall will work with the students to complete their in-water training and PADI certification. Scuba diving opens up the underwater world for young people and helps them to develop an understanding and appreciation for it, inspiring them to want to explore and protect it.”

This truly immersive experience will take teens from classroom to shoreline and beyond; from an on-site training pool to taking their first steps in discovering the wonders of life underwater in the ocean, igniting their imaginations to join the Ocean Conservation movement.

Many of these children will never have had the opportunity to experience the ocean close at hand. They will leave this residential course, delivered in the breath-taking environment of the Lizard in Cornwall, based at Porthkerris as PADI qualified open water divers, ready to spread the word as ocean influencers.

Find out more and register for the competition at www.diveprojectcornwall.co.uk/the-competition

Image credit: Jake Tims

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!

Competitions

A very popular liveaboard, Emperor Superior offers fantastic diving in comfortable surroundings. Her experienced crew make this one of the best for divers in the Red Sea.

WAS £1155pp / NOW from just £895 per person based on sharing a twin cabin including:

  • Flights from Gatwick to Hurghada with 25kgs baggage
  • 7 nights in shared cabin
  • 3 meals a day, soft drinks, red wine with dinner
  • 6 days’ diving, guide, 12ltr tank & weights, Marine Park fees and port departure fees
  • Free Nitrox
  • Airport transfers

Booking deadline: Subject to availability. Limited spaces available.

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

More Less

Instagram Feed

Popular