Marine wildlife conservation

Aquatic ecosystems cover around 71 per cent of the earth’s surface and are essential for supporting life on our planet. Over half of coral reefs have already been lost, and more than 90% are expected to die by 2050. 

They play a vital role in climate regulation and nutrient cycling, and we are fundamentally dependent on them for drinking water and for food. Despite this, aquatic habitats are less understood than their terrestrial counterparts and are faced with increasing threats.

We recognise the importance of improving the management and sustainable use of aquatic resources, and has developed a programme of marine and freshwater conservation. We work with local communities and partner organisations in the UK and worldwide.


    Two angel sharks on the ocean floor

    Angel Shark Conservation

    We’re working at the cutting edge of conservation to protect angel sharks and create practical routes to their recovery.

    A fish with a plastic bottle in the ocean


    The campaign to make London free of single-use plastic water bottles.

    Spurdog shark in the Thames

    The Greater Thames Shark Project

    Working together with anglers to better understand the importance of the Thames estuary to these animals and to ensure their long-term survival in the wild.  

    Two people seen from behind walking along the shore of a beach in Mozambique
    Our Sea Our Life - Tackling unsustainable fishing practices

    Our Sea Our Life - Tackling unsustainable fishing practices

    Working with communities to establish more sustainable fishing practices.

    Tope shark
    Under threat from fishing and habitat degradation

    Project SIARC

    We’re working at the cutting edge of conservation to protect angel sharks and create practical routes to their recovery.

    european eel closeup of face
    The species are now classified as ‘Critically Endangered’

    European eel conservation

    European eels once thrived in London’s rivers but the number of young joining the adult populations has dropped dramatically since the 1980s.

    anguilla japonica japanese eel
    There are various factors linked to eel population decline

    IUCN Anguillid Eel Specialist Group (AESG)

    For over 40 years there has been growing concern that all 16 species of freshwater eels (Family Anguillidae) have suffered a decline in numbers.

    The Selfridges window display for Project Ocean which reads No More Fish in the Sea?
    Help us protect our oceans

    Project Ocean

    By 2025 there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish in the world’s oceans if nothing changes.

    Ducie sharks swimming in the ocean above coral
    We're protecting marine habitats of UK Overseas Territories

    Great British Oceans

    chagos reef
    Investigating complex marine ecosystems

    Indian Ocean Marine Science

    We're collborating to protect the Indian Ocean, with 121 peer-reviewed papers have been generated between 2017-2021 from the research in the region.

    marine habitat
    Putting the health of our marine ecosystem first

    Marine Habitat Restoration

    Marine habitats are essential to the health of our marine ecosystem, and hold environmental and social importance, providing valuable ecosystem services.

    A vital habitat for wildlife

    London’s Rivers

    Please help us health-check and survey our rivers as part of our ongoing programme of Citizen Science projects.