Marine Conservation

The Marine Conservation Society is not one of the Goliaths of the membership driven group of charities that includes RSPB, National Trust, English Heritage, National Trust for Scotland or Royal Horticultural Society. Never the less it is a membership organisation that punches above its weight as it seeks to secure healthy and plentiful seas.

1004005 – Marine Conservation Society Aims

  • Reduce beach litter and dumping at sea,
  • Encouraging wider sale and purchase of sustainable seafood
  • Creating areas of protection in our seas, just as there are on land.
  • Working with schools, industry, politicians and the public to ensure the seas are not out of sight and out of mind.

Courting Controversy

After the successful agitation  for a charge on plastic bags attention has been refocused on other marine pollutants. A ‘micro bead ban’ is a key initiative to save fish from eating plastic soup. Not only face scrubs and toothpaste but some washing powder and floor cleaners contain nano-beads that enter the food chain. Wet wipes are another gripe for a future initiative.

The charity made a recent statement that  ‘scientific advice means three haddock fisheries in the North Sea and West of Scotland are no longer on their green ‘Fish to Eat’ list.’ Media interpreted this as an attempted ban on haddock when it was intended to ‘encourage people to make informed buying decisions, and to try and choose seafood from the fisheries and farming methods that have the least impact on our seas’.

Getting a petition up about Balloons that can entangle and choke wildlife to death. Volunteer beach litter pickers and cleaners saw a rise of over 50% in the amount of balloon litter on UK beaches. This was dwarfed by over a quarter of a million pieces of mixed beach litter collected in one weekend by 6000 volunteers.

Concerns

  • Balancing involvement with business and industry is a delicate task. The sustainable seafood coalition names some of the major players in the industry.
  • Considering income and expenditure is less than £3m per annum a great deal is being achieved. More money and growth is not a surefire way to success.
  • The marine environment  still appears to be a low priority for the UK government. Better policy, management and control is needed.

There is a clever statement in the quarterly magazine asking members of mcsuk if they have a potentially useful connection with a ‘Trust, Foundation or Livery Company that may be able to support some aspects’ of the marine conservation work. This is sensible leverage to help with a gigantic task and widen involvement.

 

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