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Additional quotes on UK Marine Strategy

Additional quotes on UK Marine Strategy from Wildlife and Countryside Link coalition partners.

Dr Elaine King, Director of Wildlife and Countryside Link, said: ‘Consultation on the UK Marine Strategy is welcome, but without a tidal wave of radical action the state of our seas will continue to decline. The Government’s proposals fall far short of the mark. If we don’t want Orcas, puffins, and other treasured species to become sights of the past, Governments across the UK must dramatically raise their marine ambition and investment.’

Dr Julie Schneider, Marine chemical campaigner at CHEM Trust said: ‘Invisible chemical pollution is damaging the balance of the ocean’s ecosystems, such as the long-lived chemicals PCBs which are still threatening the survival of orca populations around the UK decades after being banned. Many more of these long-lived, poorly degradable chemicals are still being produced, in spite of their lasting impact on the marine environment. The Marine Strategy should call for urgent action to take such chemicals off the market to protect marine wildlife and human health.’

Sarah Denman, Environment Lawyer at ClientEarth said: ‘The Government must seize the opportunity that the UK Marine Strategy presents to truly protect our seas. Ministers are showing an abject lack of ambition. The draft Fisheries Bill that will regulate UK fisheries post-Brexit falls fathoms short of preventing overfishing and damage to marine ecosystems. If the Government fails to set and achieve strong targets, our marine life and the health of our oceans could be irretrievably damaged.’

Friends of the Earth campaigner Emma Priestland said:
‘Our oceans are filling up with plastic waste and today’s strategy will not be enough to stem the flow. Tougher government measures are needed to protect our seas and wildlife from plastic pollution - including new legislation to ensure this happens.’

Gill Bell, from Marine Conservation Society and Co-Chair of Wales Environment Link's Marine Working Group, said: ‘According to the State of Natural Resources Report, Wales has no marine ecosystems that are classed as resilient. The Welsh Government along with the other governments across the UK, urgently need to articulate actions they are going to take to address the failures to achieve Good Environmental Status. We must reverse declining marine biodiversity to ensure nature’s recovery and enhancement of Wales’ marine environments.’

Calum Duncan, Head of Conservation Scotland for the Marine Conservation Society and Convenor of Scottish Environment LINK's Marine Group, said: ‘Following recent climate and nature emergency reports, this latest marine health-check is a wake-up call that business-as-usual is harming Scotland's oceans. Welcome progress has been made in some areas, but we need to go further and faster to reverse ecosystem collapse at sea. Large-scale ecological restoration and a complete re-think of how we manage human activity at sea, putting marine ecosystem limits front and centre of planning and licensing, is urgently needed.’

Peadar O'Connell, Marine Policy Officer, RSPB Scotland, said: ‘Scotland has a huge responsibility to look after our marine environment, hosting a huge proportion of the UKs seas and marine life, including over two-thirds of the UKs breeding seabirds in spectacular colonies. We know many of these birds are in serious trouble, over 80% declines in some species, and this assessment confirms that a fundamental new approach to protecting seabirds and the marine environment is needed urgently. Scottish Government is showing strong leadership on climate change, however this assessment shows it is failing the marine environment and must set a new course before it is too late.’

Adam Grogan, Head of Wildlife, RSPCA, said: Such drastic declines in marine species are shocking and it is vital that we act decisively to protect our oceans now. We see first-hand in our rescue centres the devastating impact of plastic litter in our seas, whether that is seals injured from netting or frisbees or gulls tangled in shopping bags or other litter. Our seas should be a safe and protected habitat for wildlife to thrive."

Ellen MacMahon, Northern Ireland Marine Task Force Officer, said: ‘This assessment is further evidence of the struggles our seas are facing. It is crucial that the UK Marine Strategy sets strong, ambitious targets in order to halt biodiversity loss. Northern Ireland’s marine environment is important for a range of species and habitats such as harbour porpoise, common skate and seagrass beds (to name a few). Decisive action must be taken to protect and enhance Northern Ireland’s marine environment.’

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