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Economy Economy

Conserve the marine environment

Last updated: 04:13pm 29 November 2019

We will continue our work to conserve the marine environment off the coast of the United Kingdom.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.62

Our verdict

According to the United Nations, human activities are increasingly threatening marine environments through climate change, pollution, extraction of resources, and destruction of habitats and landscapes. They conclude that:

“The deterioration of coastal and marine ecosystems and habitats is negatively affecting human well-being worldwide.”

This policy is a pledge to  continue working to conserve the marine environment off the coast of the United Kingdom.

Since 2013, the government has addressed this issue through Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ)  to protect species and habitats. This has been in a devolved manner, with each country in the UK taking responsibility for their area.

In England, there are 91 MCZs, with 41 designated since the 2017 general election. These additions represented the final stage of rolling out MCZs, which made use of local knowledge to find appropriate areas. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have made varying but extensive progress on this issue.

Of the MCZs added by the government since 2017, not all have been granted OSPAR status. This means that OSPAR, the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic, has not verified a number of MCZs yet.

The government has added 41 Marine Conservation zones, honouring its pledge to “continue” efforts to protect the UK marine environment. This policy is ‘done’.

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