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The Marine Group seeks to restore and protect England's marine wildlife and habitats by seeking improvements to marine policy.

Chair: Kirsten Carter, RSPB, Vice-Chair: Jacques Villemot, RSPB

Link: Matthew Dawson, Policy Officer

Update from the Group

The ocean plays a key role in regulating our climate and has already absorbed 20-30% of global CO2 production. If we’re to tackle the climate and ecological emergency it is critical that our ocean is recovered to a healthy state.

The Marine Group welcomed the Government's announcement that 2021 was to be a 'super year' for the marine environment. They created a scorecard to judge progress against this goal, setting out the policies we needed to see delivered for 2021 to truly be a turning point for our marine environment. The group met with Defra Minister Rebecca Pow to outline the sector's priorities for 2021. In January this year, the group produced the final scorecard report, which disappointingly found that progress had been too slow in almost all areas of marine policy. They are calling on the Government to enact the policies they have highlighted as outstanding from 2021 as the basis of a comprehensive marine recovery agenda for 2022.

The group have also been campaigning for the delivery of new 'Highly Protected Marine Areas', where all extractive activities are prohibited, and regularly meet with Defra to discuss the Government's progress on this policy. The group have produced a report on 30x30 in the marine environment, finding that a maximum of 4% of England’s marine environment could be said to be protected for nature, rather than the 40% suggested by the Government.

The Group continue to work with sister Links in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on ocean recovery and consultations for the UK Marine Strategy. They have coordinated a UK-wide response to the UK Marine Strategy part 3: Programme of Measures consultation, which sets out the measures the UK Government hopes will achieve Good Environmental Status in our seas.

For further information, contact Matthew Dawson, Link's Policy Officer.

Last updated: May 2022

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