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127 Marine Conservation Zones

The MCS campaign to protect

our seas continues...

with a big thanks to you

Protecting our seas, shores and wildlife


Photo © Alex Caminada

Thanks to you, our friends and supporters, the MCS

campaign for 127 Marine Conservation Zones in English seas

has achieved amazing things over the last six months.

Photo © Alex Caminada

While we await the Government’s decision on which sites

it will protect first, we thought we’d reflect on some of the

campaign highlights so far, and celebrate that journey with

you.

Thank you for helping us in the fight to save our seas.

And remember – this campaign’s not over yet!

Protecting our seas, shores and wildlife


Pledges of support: Over 350,000

In October, MCS and Sea Life launched the Ocean Heroes,

Defenders of the Deep pledge campaign. MCS’ army of Sea

Champions visited all 12 Sea Life centres to brief their staff

on the campaign. The Sea Champs then worked through

the winter gathering signatures at local events up and

down the country, including an amazing 2,500 pledges in

a single week at Bristol Zoo. A further 24 national aquaria

got involved, supported by our ‘Kat Skater’ social media

campaign and its ‘singing sea creatures’ viral video.

Together with our campaign partner organisations WWF,

RSPB, WCL and The Wildlife Trusts, we gathered more than

350,000 pledges of public support. This joint petition was

delivered to Downing Street on June 12th.

Photos © Patrick Joel

Our online video

was viewed by

over 4,000 people

Protecting our seas, shores and wildlife


Photo © Richard Harrington Photo © Tim Fanshawe

Martin Spray, MCS Chair and Sam Fanshawe, MCS CEO

meet Ben Bradshaw MP outside the Houses of Parliament

The campaign team meet Jesse Norman MP

Letters to MPs: 2,657

Our parliamentary campaigners have met with over 40

MPs and peers from all the major political parties, including

the Minister responsible for MCZs, Richard Benyon MP, to

advocate our campaign. A Select Committee of MPs took

evidence from MCS in November and resolutely backed

our case in its report published after Easter. But it was the

2,657 letters sent by you, via MCS’ website, to your local MPs

which helped build the groundswell of cross-party support

in Westminster for a network of 127 Marine Conservation

Zones.

Left: Lesser spotted dogfish © Malcolm Nobbs , Right: Seal © Colin Jones

Protecting our seas, shores and wildlife


Responses to the public consultation on

Marine Conservation Zones: Over 40,000

In December, the Government launched a consultation on

just 31 sites from the proposed MCZ network. Disappointed,

4,474 MCS supporters responded via our website, backing

the call for 127 Marine Conservation Zones – the biggest

response we’ve ever had. In total, Defra says over 40,000

people wrote to the Government, one of the biggest

responses it has ever had to an environment consultation.

Supporters joining our ‘127 MCZ’

Westminster rally: Around 2,000

Photo © Alex Caminada

On February 25th, MCS organised a rally in Westminster led

by Fish Fight’s Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and supported

by the British Sub-Aqua Club and Sea Life. Around 2,000

people demonstrated their support for 127 Marine

Conservation Zones outside the Houses of Parliament – so

many that we stopped the traffic! The rally was filmed for

Channel 4’s Fish Fight and broadcast to a national audience

of three million.

Protecting our seas, shores and wildlife


Photo © Rob Spray Photo © Paul Naylor

Leading UK scientists who support a network

of 127 Marine Conservation Zones: 87

In April, world famous marine scientist Prof Callum Roberts

sent an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron. It

re-stated the advice from the scientific community that

127 Marine Conservation Zones were required if the

Government wants to meet its own commitment to an

‘ecologically coherent network’ of protected areas in English

seas.

The letter was co-signed by 86 UK PhD level scientists,

including five (out of eight) members of the government

appointed Science Advisory Panel which oversaw the

process of designing the Marine Conservation Zone

Network, 31 Professors some of whom are heads of

institutions, and four fellows of the Royal Society, as well as

many leading experts in environmental science including

Dr Jean-Luc Solandt and Dr Peter Richardson from MCS.

Protecting our seas, shores and wildlife


Next steps for the campaign

This Summer, the Government will decide which Marine

Conservation Zones to designate first. As well as a final

decision on the 31 sites proposed for designation in

2013, Minister Richard Benyon MP has indicated that the

Government will also provide greater clarity on plans for the

remaining 96 MCZs. So our campaign is gaining ground but

the journey isn’t over. We still face strong opposition from

powerful industries determined to stop MCZs to protect their

own self interest. We still need your support.

MCS is clear. We want a world class network of 127 Marine

Conservation Zones for English seas. This means 64 sites

now – the 31 prioritised by the Government and a further 33

known to be at high risk of immediate damage – and the rest

within three years.

Take action NOW

Visit www.mcsuk.org/mpa to sign our petition

or text: Protect (and your email address) to: 84424

(the only cost is your network charge)

Watch our campaign video and share

it on social networks

Follow us on Facebook for the latest

campaign updates

Follow us on Twitter @MCSUK

Use #127MCZ

Thanks again for

your fantastic

support.

And remember, we’re always delighted to

welcome new members.

You can join MCS for just £2.75 a month.

Visit www.mcsuk.org for details.

Left: Starfish © Sue Scott, Centre: Seaslug © Rohan Holt, Right: Puffin © Peter Richardson

Protecting our seas, shores and wildlife


271-2013

Cover: Photography © Paul Naylor (www.marinephoto.org.uk), composite artwork by Nick Pritchard (Penknife Ltd)

Marine Conservation Society

Unit 3, Wolf Business Park, Alton Road,

Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire HR9 5NB

Tel: 01989 566017 Email: info@mcsuk.org Web: www.mcsuk.org

Registered Charity No (England and Wales): 1004005

Registered Charity No (Scotland): SC037480

Protecting our seas, shores and wildlife

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