Angela offers support for designating largest marine reserve in the Atlantic
Angela has called upon the UK government to become a world leader in protecting the oceans.
Through advancements in satellite technology and developments in international law, it is now possible to monitor and protect vast areas of ocean with ever greater effectiveness and lower cost making protecting these areas easier.
The UK Government is already leading the world in this work, having stated its intention to create a “Blue Belt” of marine protection around a number of the UK Overseas Territories. The UK has already protected a massive 830,000 sq km site in the Pacific, around the Pitcairn Islands. This is one of the largest marine reserves in the world, more than three times the size of the UK.
Angela has now backed the campaign, called #BackTheBlueBelt, calling on the Government to create more protected areas in a number of our Overseas Territories.
Angela hopes that this will include the announcement this month of the largest marine reserve in the Atlantic, around the incredible South Sandwich Islands near the Antarctic, home to a huge array of whales, fish, birds, seals and over 10% of the world’s penguins.
“Who would have thought so many of the world’s penguins are British? No one could have watched Blue Planet II and not be struck by the amazing beauty and fragility of the life in our oceans. We are incredibly lucky in the UK to be the stewards of some of the most pristine places left in the global ocean, thanks to our Overseas Territories. I am delighted to support this campaign to protect these special places, and call on the Government to designate the South Sandwich Islands as a marine reserve as soon as possible.”
At 500,000 sq km, the South Sandwich Islands reserve will be twice the size of the UK and will protect one of the last great wild places left on Earth”.
Notes for Editors:
The South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) Government is reviewing the marine protections given to this area throughout 2018. Currently, only 2 percent of the SGSSI marine environment is fully protected from fishing, but the hope is the United Kingdom will upgrade the South Sandwich Islands to a fully protected marine reserve. The Great British Oceans Coalition is calling for the full protection of over 500,000 square kilometres of ocean around the South Sandwich Islands. This area would be twice the size of the United Kingdom itself, and aid in the protection of nesting penguins and hydrothermal vents alike. Learn more about the South Sandwich Islands and why they are worth protecting: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/projects/global-ocean-legacy-south-georgia-and-the-south-sandwich-islands/about
Great British Oceans is a coalition of the Blue Marine Foundation, Greenpeace, Marine Conservation Society, The Pew Trusts, RSPB and Zoological Society of London. Together they support the vision of the UK and Overseas Territory governments to increase marine protection in the British Overseas Territories.