Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has joined growing calls to protect the world’s oceans through the creation of a Blue Belt.
The campaign for a Blue Belt is calling on the UK government and its Overseas Territories to create a series of large protected areas of ocean around 7 of the 14 British Overseas Territories.
The creation of the Blue Belt would involve establishing a 500,000 km² fully protected Marine Protected Area around the South Sandwich Islands in 2018, establishing a fully protected Marine Protected Area in at least 50% of Ascension Island’s waters in 2019, and supporting the establishment of a locally-led marine protection regime throughout the waters of Tristan da Cunha and St Helena.
Jeff said: “The UK and its overseas territories have a responsibility to protect the vast oceans surrounding our shores.
These oceans are home to a diverse range of marine life and important ecological processes. Indeed, they contain the world’s largest coral atoll as well as a quarter of the world’s penguins.
By creating a Blue Belt of protected oceans, the UK can lead the world on ocean preservation and ensure these important and fragile environments are protected for decades to come.
I call on the government to work with the Overseas Territories to take these crucial steps as quickly as possible.”
You can find out more about the campaign here: https://greatbritishoceans.org/