Thursday, 10 November 2011

Urgent: We need your help to save our marine wildlife

We need your help to save our marine wildlife

Manx Shearwater - June 2011 Image Andrew P. Chick

Adult Kittiwake - Sept 2011 Image Andrew P. Chick

Risso's Dolphin Sept 2011 - Image Andrew P. Chick

Urgent: We need your help to save our marine wildlife

We are in danger of losing three-quarters of our Marine Conservation Zones before they've even been designated.

The long-awaited network of marine protected areas, promised by Government for 2012, is in danger. Please help by telling Minister Richard Benyon that you care about our seas and want 127 Marine Conservation Zones.

After two years of consultation with more than one million stakeholders including fishermen, conservationists and businesses, 127 Marine Conservation Zones were recommended to Government. These zones are a network throughout our seas, representing different habitat types and protecting many species, and include six sites off the Lincolnshire coast. Now Government has lost its direction and is proposing to over-ride the recommendations of local people and cut the 127 sites down to just 30.

We need you to write to Under-Secretary for Natural Environment and Fisheries, Richard Benyon MP, in support of Marine Conservation Zones. We would be very grateful if you could write to the Minister highlighting your concerns. Please write today. A template letter is included in this email.

Paul Learoyd, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust Chief Executive, said: "With Wildlife Trusts all around the UK, we are lobbying hard for the successful completion of a process that will make the difference between the life or death of our seas. We need to demonstrate the weight of public support for Marine Conservation Zones to Government. This is a once in a lifetime chance. We can't afford to let it slip away."

Thank you for your help.

Please let us know when you've written by emailing

Please send the template letter to:

Richard Benyon MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR


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Template Letter

I am writing to urge you to take forward all 127 Marine Conservation Zones next year.

As a supporter of The Wildlife Trusts' Petition Fish campaign, I have been encouraged by the all-party support for the Marine Act and your personal commitment to Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) designation.

I was also encouraged to see the network of 127 MCZs proposed by stakeholders this summer. Each MCZ is vital on its own but they are even more important together to help our seas become some of the most productive and wildlife-rich on Earth.

I share the belief expressed by The Wildlife Trusts that all 127 MCZs must be designated. Reducing the number of MCZs risks losing essential protection for marine species and habitats.

You have an unprecedented opportunity to allow marine conservation to catch up with the great strides made on land. There has never been a more crucial or opportune moment to put in place the protection our seas so urgently need.