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Welcome World Ocean Day action to protect our most vulnerable marine sites

8 June 2021

Welcoming the announcement that the Government intends to pilot the Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) recommended in the Benyon Review, Wildlife and Countryside Link’s Marine Group Co-Chair Gareth Cunningham said:

“Our seas are struggling from pollution, over-use and under protection, with more than 90% of UK seagrass lost and British seabird numbers declining by up to 70%. Today’s announcement by the Government of trials of Highly Protected Marine Areas is a welcome first step towards the much greater levels of protection that our marine environment needs.

“It’s now crucial that the Government delivers HPMA pilot sites as soon as possible and demonstrates their commitment to our ocean by backing up these promises with the necessary funding to make them a success”.

Wildlife and Countryside Link’s Marine Group Co-Chair Sean Clement added:

“It’s really welcome that Ministers have responded positively to the Benyon Review. It’s great to hear on World Ocean Day that the Government will be working towards improved action and management of our most vulnerable waters, and exploring how our seas can fully recover when human pressures are removed.

“But we need these trials to ramp up to wider protection as soon as possible in order to reach our ambitious 2030 targets, and help prevent the devastation that over-fishing, pollution and other issues are dealing out to our blue planet”.