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We are seeking full support for the Marine Charter - an ambitious network of Marine Protected Areas - from all MPs in the current Parliament to call for the swift designation of a representative and well managed Ecologically Coherent Network of Marine Protected Areas in UK seas.

2016 is a pivotal year for identification of potential sites for the third and final tranche of Marine Conservation Zone designation. The Marine Charter has been supported by Members of Parliament in both the current and former Parliament.

Interested in learning more about the Marine Charter?

Contact us at: marinecharter@wcl.org.uk

We the undersigned support Wildlife and Countryside Link’s call for the swift designation of a representative and well managed Ecologically Coherent Network of Marine Protected Areas in UK seas by 2016. We call on this and future Governments to ensure that this network meets international principles on coherence, and represents the full range of features in the UK seas as required by the relevant Marine Acts.
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The full network must include ambitious proposals within the commitment to two future tranches of Marine Conservation Zones in English Seas in 2015/16, alongside wider marine protected areas, and must be well managed to maintain sites that are in good condition and recover those that are damaged.

Such a network is essential not only to stem the alarming decline in marine habitats and species, but also to ensure that the enormous social and economic benefits derived from marine goods and services can be realised for generations to come.

Current MPs and Peers who have signed the Marine Charter

Rt Hon Alan Campbell MP

Sir Alan Meale MP

Dr Alan Whitehead MP

Alex Cunningham MP

Andrew Gwynne MP

Andrew Rosindell MP

Rt Hon Andrew Smith MP

Andy Slaughter MP

Barbara Keeley MP

The Baroness Hilton of Eggardon QPM

The Baroness Howarth of Breckland OBE

The Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb

The Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

The Baroness Lister of Burtersett CBE

The Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer

The Baroness Young of Old Scone

Rt Hon. Ben Bradshaw MP

Bernard Jenkin MP

The Rt Rev. the Lord Bishop of St Albans

Caroline Dinenage MP

Caroline Lucas MP

Caroline Nokes MP

Rt Hon. Caroline Spelman MP

Catherine McKinnell MP

Mr Charles Walker MP

Charlotte Leslie MP

Rt Hon. Cheryl Gillan MP

Chris Green MP

Christina Rees MP

Mr Clive Betts MP

Sir David Amess MP

Mr David Anderson MP

Mr David Crausby MP

David Warburton MP

Debbie Abrahams MP

Douglas Chapman MP

Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck MP

Fabian Hamilton MP

Fiona Bruce MP

Rt Hon Fiona Mactaggart MP

Rt Hon. Frank Field MP

Mr Gary Streeter MP

Gavin Robinson MP

Mr Gavin Shuker MP

George Hollingbery MP

Rt Hon George Howarth MP

Geraint Davies MP

Rt Hon Sir Gerald Kaufman MP

Gordon Henderson MP

Graham Evans MP

Mr Graham Brady MP

Grahame Morris MP

Greg Mulholland MP

Henry Smith MP

Hywel Williams MP

Ian Murray MP

Jason McCartney MP

Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP

Jeremy Lefroy MP

Jessica Morden MP

Jim Dowd MP

John Mann MP

John McDonnell MP

John Pugh MP

Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP

Justin Tomlinson MP

Kate Green MP

Kerry McCarthy MP

Rt Hon Kevin Barron MP

The Earl of Listowel Francis Michael Hare

Liz McInnes MP

The Lord Black of Brentwood

The Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe

The Rt Hon. the Lord Clark of Windermere

The Rt Hon. the Lord Crickhowell

The Lord Dykes of Harrow Weald

The Lord Gilbert of Panteg

The Lord Hunt of Chesterton

The Viscount Hanworth

The Rt Hon. the Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom

The Lord Judd

The Lord May of Oxford OM

The Rt Hon. the Lord Rooker

The Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Lord Storey CBE

Mrs Madeleine Moon MP

Mark Durkan MP

Rt Hon Mark Francois MP

Mr Mark Prisk MP

Mr Mark Williams MP

Dr Matthew Offord MP

Mike Wood MP

Natascha Engel MP

Neil Carmichael MP

Nia Griffith MP

Rt Hon Nicholas Brown MP

Nic Dakin MP

Nicola Blackwood MP

Rt Hon Nigel Dodds MP

Oliver Colvile MP

Paul Flynn MP

Paul Maynard MP

Penny Mordaunt MP

Pete Wishart MP

Peter Aldous MP

Sir Peter Bottomley MP

Richard Benyon MP

Robert Buckland MP

Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods MP

Mr Roger Godsiff MP

Rosie Cooper MP

Sarah Newton MP

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP

Mrs Sheryll Murray MP

Rt Hon Sir Simon Burns MP

Simon Hoare MP

Steve McCabe MP

Stewart Hosie MP

Sue Hayman MP

Thangam Debbonaire MP

Tim Farron MP

Tim Loughton MP

Tom Tugendhat MP

Tommy Shepherd MP

Valerie Vaz MP

Zac Goldsmith MP

The following MPs and Peers signed the Marine Charter in the previous parliament
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Rt Hon. Ben Bradshaw MP
(Former Labour Defra Minister)

Rt Hon. Caroline Spelman MP
Rt Hon. Sir John Randall MP
Debbie Abrahams MP
Peter Aldous MP
David Amess MP
David Anderson MP
Rt Hon. James Arbuthnot MP
Norman Baker MP
Sir Kevin Baron MP
Hugh Bayley MP
Dame Anne Begg MP
Clive Betts MP
Lord Black of Brentwood
Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods MP
Nicola Blackwood MP
Sir Peter Bottomley MP
Graham Brady MP
Annette Brooke OBE MP
Lord Brooke
Nic Brown MP
Russell Brown MP
Fiona Bruce MP
Robert Buckland MP
Rt Hon. Simon Burns MP
Alan Campbell MP
Neil Carmichael MP
Martin Caton MP
Lord Chorley
Katy Clark MP
Lord Clark of Windemere
Oliver Colvile MP
Michael Connarty MP
Rosie Cooper MP
Jeremy Corbyn MP
David Crausby MP
Lord Crickhowell
Alex Cunningham MP
Sir Tony Cunningham MP
Nic Dakin MP
Geraint Davies MP
Rt Hon. John Denham MP
Caroline Dineage MP
Jim Dobbin MP
Frank Dobson MP
Nigel Dodds MP
Brian Donohoe MP
Frank Doran MP
Jim Dowd MP
Mark Durkan MP
Lord Dykes of Harrow Weald
Natascha Engel MP
Graeme Evans MP
Tim Farron MP
Rt Hon. Frank Field MP
Paul Flynn MP
Mark Francois MP
Stephen Gilbert MP
Rt Hon. Cheryl Gillan MP
Richard Benyon MP
(Former Conservative Defra Minister)


Andrew George MP
Adrian Sanders MP
Sheila Gilmore MP
Roger Godsiff MP
Kate Green MP
Nia Griffith MP
Andrew Gwynne MP
Duncan Hames MP
Fabian Hamilton MP
Sir Nick Harvey MP
Lord Haworth
David Heath CBE MP
Gordon Henderson MP
Julie Hilling MP
Baroness Hilton
George Hollingbery MP
Martin Horwood MP
Stewart Hosie MP
Baroness Howarth
George Howarth MP
Baron Hunt of Chesterton
Mark Hunter MP
Julian Huppert MP
Glenda Jackson MP
Cathy Jamieson MP
Bernard Jenkin MP
Baroness Jones
Lord Judd
Rt Hon. Sir Gerald Kaufman MP
Barbara Keeley MP
Mark Lazarowicz MP
John Leech MP
Jeremy Lefroy MP
Charlotte Leslie MP
Emma Lewell-Buck MP
Baroness Lister of Burtersett
The Earl of Listowel
Naomi Long MP
Tim Loughton MP
Dr Caroline Lucas MP
John Mann MP
Lord May of Oxford
Paul Maynard MP
Sir Alan Meale MP
Steve McCabe MP
Michael McCann MP
Kerry McCarthy MP
Jason McCartney MP
William McCrea MP
John McDonnell MP
Liz McInnes MP
Ann McKechin MP
Ian McKenzie MP
Catherine McKinnell MP
Fiona McTaggart MP
Andrew Miller MP
Baroness Miller
Madeleine Moon MP
Roger Williams MP CBE
(Liberal Democrat Defra Spokesperson)


Zac Goldsmith MP
Dr Alan Whitehead MP
Penny Mordaunt MP
Jessica Morden MP
Graeme Morrice MP
Grahame Morris MP
Stephen Mosley MP
Greg Mulholland MP
Paul Murphy MP
Ian Murray MP
Sheryll Murray MP
Sarah Newton MP
Caroline Nokes MP
Dr Matthew Offord MP
Sandra Osborne MP
Rt Hon. Sir Richard Ottaway MP
Mark Prisk MP
John Pugh MP
Simon Reevell MP
Alan Reid MP
Linda Riordan MP
John Robertson MP
Lord Rooker
Andrew Rosindell MP
Chris Ruane MP
Rt Hon. Dame Joan Ruddock MP
Sir Bob Russell MP
Alison Seabeck MP
Jim Sheridan MP
Gavin Shuker MP
Andy Slaughter MP
Andrew Smith MP
Henry Smith MP
Bishop of St. Albans
Lord Stoddart
Lord Storey
Gary Streeter MP
Rt Hon. Sir Andrew Stunell OBE MP
Rt Hon. Sir Peter Tapsell MP
Mike Thornton MP
Justin Tomlinson MP
Valerie Vaz MP
Charles Walker MP
Joan Walley MP
Mike Weatherley MP
Mike Weir MP
John Whittingdale OBE MP
Hywel Williams MP
Mark Williams MP
Stephen Williams MP
Chris Williamson MP
Pete Wishart MP
Dr Sarah Wollaston MP
Mike Wood MP
Simon Wright MP
Tim Yeo MP
Baroness Young of Old Scone

What is the
marine charter?

As an island nation, our seas and coastline have defined much of our history and our culture. We have some of the most colourful, diverse and interesting marine life anywhere in the world.

However, the ability of our seas to cope with the pressures we put on them – whether over fishing, industrial pollution or the impacts of climate change - is limited. A hundred years ago vast native oyster fields the size of Wales carpeted the Irish Sea; huge fleets of vessels supported the ports of Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth as they chased enormous schools of herring in the North Sea; Bluefin Tuna, now critically endangered, used to be abundant around our shores. Yet, despite us being aware of such dramatic changes in a lifetime, we remain a long way from delivering the fully ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas necessary to arrest this alarming decline.

The Marine Charter is an initiative of Link’s Marine Working Group which seeks to reiterate the strong cross-party support for a representative and well-managed ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in UK seas by 2016. The landmark Marine and Coastal Access Act, 2009 – and subsequent Scotland Marine Act (2010) and Northern Ireland Marine Act 2013 – was passed with overwhelming cross-party support, and established the provision to create a network of marine protected areas which represents the full range of features in UK waters.

While the designation of the 50 Marine Conservation Zones in English Seas in November 2013 and January 2016 is a welcome start, we are still a long way from delivering the truly ecologically coherent network in UK seas. As we edge towards the end of this Parliament, it is vital that the support, and need, for a truly ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas is not lost. This network is essential, not only to stem the alarming decline in marine habitats and species, but also to ensure that the enormous social and economic benefits derived from marine goods and services can be realised for generations to come.

Parliamentarians can add their voice, by signing the Marine Charter, to the broad and substantial cross-party constituency who support the designation of an ecologically coherent network of MPAs in UK seas. In the development of the landmark 2009 Marine and Coastal Access Act, more than 627,000 people supported the call for more marine protected areas, and 350,000 signatures were delivered to Downing Street in July 2013 in support of this full network.

Now is the most important time for UK marine conservation. We have never before, and may never again have such an opportunity to safeguard the remnants of our, once rich, marine habitats and wildlife.

Joan Edwards
Chair, Wildlife and Countryside Link Marine Working Group

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