Marine Protected Area

The government must ensure the UK advocates strongly for the establishment of a Marine Protected Area in the Weddell Sea. Such a protected area would help safeguard one of the last pristine regions in Antarctica and ensure the conservation of vital ecosystems settled in these waters and the surrounding coast.

The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meets in October and I am keen that the UK government works with others to achieve a Marine Protected Area in the Weddell Sea.

The UK government has backed the proposal, but I am disappointed that the government has not been engaging more pro-actively with member states and using the full extent of its diplomatic tools to persuade countries that have not yet publicly backed the proposal.

Under 4 per cent of the world’s oceans are designated for protection, despite a global commitment to achieve 10 per cent by 2020. The UK should be leading lead the world in marine conservation and do all we can to ensure the protection and sustainability of our oceans.

I have long supported measures to protect our marine environment and to protect and enhance the marine environment of the UK and our overseas territories. I also support proposals to deliver an ecologically coherent network of Marine Conservation Zones around the UK to ensure that the benefits of marine conservation are felt domestically too.