Jo scales up pressure for Marine Bill


Jo Swinson with Wildlife Trust Petition Fish

The ‘Petition Fish’ is gathering support for the Wildlife Trusts’ campaign

Jo Swinson is backing The Wildlife Trusts’ call for a Marine Bill in the next Queen’s Speech.

The marine environment around the UK is coming under increasing pressure from a range of human activities. With many marine species, including commercial fish populations, in decline, pressure is growing for a Marine Bill to manage human activities at sea.

Speaking after an event in Parliament to raise awareness of the need for a Marine Bill, Jo said:

“I believe we urgently need a Bill to manage and protect our marine environment. At present only a tiny proportion of our seas are protected by law. As an island nation, we have a responsibility to care for our seas and protect the diverse wildlife that lives there.

“With environmental issues making up a large part of my postbag, I will be keeping up the pressure on the Government to include a Marine Bill in the Queen’s Speech this autumn.”

Stephanie Hilborne, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts said:

“I am delighted that Jo Swinson MP has shown her support for the Marine Bill. Like climate change, the destruction of marine wildlife is an urgent global issue and the UK Government must take a lead by protecting our own seas. We cannot delay marine legislation any longer – the urgency to protect marine biodiversity is unquestionable.”

Wildlife Trusts’ ‘Petition Fish’ is an innovative way of gathering petition signatures, representing one of four charismatic or endangered UK fish (cod, triggerfish, wrasse and plaice). Gold or silver self-adhesive scales are signed and attached to the fish to show support for the petition.

The Government has published a Marine Bill White Paper proposing the following:

• A new system of marine planning;

• A more efficient and transparent system for licensing marine activities;

• A Marine Management Organisation with wide-ranging functions;

• New mechanisms for conserving marine wildlife;

• Modernised inshore fisheries management.


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