Marine Reserves Coalition
In 2011 ZSL teamed up with the Blue Marine Foundation , ClientEarth , Greenpeace , the Marine Conservation Society and the Pew Environment Group to form the Marine Reserves Coalition. The Coalition’s aim is to advance the creation of fully protected marine reserves, closed to all potentially damaging activities.
Marine reserves are a simple, scientifically proven tool that protects vulnerable species and habitats, as well as building our oceans’ resilience to significant emerging threats such as climate change. Done right, marine reserves can benefit people as well as the environment, by helping to rebuild depleted fish stocks that millions worldwide depend on for both income and protein.
Despite commitments from 193 countries to safeguard our marine life in protected areas, there has been limited implementation and ambition from the world’s governments. Only 1.42% of the planet’s oceans are nominally protected as ‘Marine Protected Areas’ and less than 0.5% are fully protected marine reserves.
The Marine Reserves Coalition calls on the UK Government to commit to establishing representative networks of marine reserves throughout its territories that:
1. Are fully protected
No extractive or potentially damaging activities should be allowed in marine reserves (i.e. no fishing, dredging or mining).
2. Cover at least 30% of seas under UK jurisdiction
To enable the recovery of marine biodiversity and fish stocks, as required under EU legislation and other international obligations, it is imperative that the UK Government commits to designating at least 30% of its waters (including UK Overseas Territories) as ecologically representative marine reserves by 2020, with a clear timetable and means to achieve this.
3. Are managed effectively
Marine reserves must be properly managed for the long-term to ensure that marine species and habitats are fully protected within them, with sufficient technical and logistical capacity available at the national and regional levels.
Furthermore, we call upon the UK Government to encourage other nations to adopt similar targets with respect to their own waters and to show leadership in the initiation of marine reserves on the high seas (areas beyond national jurisdiction).
Help support the Marine Reserves Coalition and sign our petition: