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Creating National Parks Around British Coastline, Conservation Group Says | Marine life




Marine conservation groups say national parks should be created in waters around the British coast in order to preserve fragile marine habitats and provide more access to the UK’s natural heritage.

The Blue Marine Foundation has identified 10 areas around the coast that it says could be designated a national park within the next 10 years. The designation can help increase protection and attract funding to the habitat, and local authorities should make it more accessible to people.

Charles Clover, managing director of the charity, said: After 70 years of building national parks on land, it is amazing that there are no parks at sea. Our natural heritage is right next to the beach, but paradoxically, the public has little to do with the enjoyment or stewardship of this island nation’s greatest asset.

The first national park was created on the grounds of the Peak District in 1951. The designation imposes rules on what can be done within the boundaries of the national park and ensures people’s access. By law, the national parks of England and Wales are obligated to preserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the region and to promote opportunities for public understanding and enjoyment.

Ten national parks on British land contribute up to 4 billion to the economy with 22,500 businesses employing 90 million visitors and 140,000 employees per year.

Clover said creating a national park on the sea has similar benefits. He pointed to Plymouth’s project in which the city council built the UK’s first national marine park, occupying 400 square kilometers (154 square miles), with 70 groups participating and placing a lottery bid for 12 meters. More than 1,000 species have been identified in Plymouth Sound, which boasts an important maritime history as a launch site for the Mayflower and Beagle.

Planned amenities in Plymouth include a network of underwater webcams, including virtual underwater tours showing marine life. Wild swimming and snorkeling trails; Terrestrial ocean observatory; Public access to the sea has been improved. The community will be involved in marine ash wildlife projects such as seaweed restoration, local young people will be trained as marine park custodians, and participation campaigns will be launched in the poorest wards in the city.

Plymouth City Council Director Tudor Evans said: It’s not about more regulation, it’s about users and stakeholders working together to increase knowledge, opportunities and understanding of the sea.

Plymouth Sutton and Devonport’s Labor MP Luke Pollard said: Just as the post-war government had ambitions to build national parks, we must aspire to more national marine parks. In the midst of the climate crisis, this is the perfect response to the growing public interest in our oceans.

The Blue Marine Foundation said the marine park could pay for itself by attracting visitors. It has been estimated that around 200,000 to 500,000 seed funding will be sufficient to launch the National Marine Park in other regions that have been identified. The larger Thames London Gateway; East Anglia Suffolk, The Wash and North Norfolk; Northeast England, from Tyne to Tees, Northumberland and Berwickshire; Northwest England, Cumbria and Solway Firth; Severn estuary; Cornwall and the Silly Islands; Wales, Pembrokeshire; Argyll coast and islands in Scotland; And Jersey’s crown dependence.

The conservation group said the marine park will complement the marine protected areas the government has installed around the coast. Guardian surveys have created controversy when it turns out that harmful fishing methods, such as bottom trolling, are in use in almost all areas, and some protection measures have since been proposed, but that super trollers are also accessible. In Marine National Parks, trolling may still be allowed in some areas.

A spokesman for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: Our oceans offer great economic opportunities for the world’s leading maritime sector, but they also need our protection. We are already leading the rest of the world by protecting more than 30% of our waters in the UK and abroad. Weve also created 91 marine sanctuaries, extending the national blue belt to protect more than 40% of UK waters.

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