Blue Marine Foundation has called for national parks to be created around the UK coast to help conserve marine habitats and increase ocean conservation efforts.
The charity has identified 10 areas of sea space that they suggest could be pegged out as national parks within a decade with the potential to eventually self-fund through attracting visitors, in much the same way land national parks attract 90 million visitors per year.
There are currently 10 national parks on land, with the first created in the Peak District in 1951. Giving parks such status means that In law, national parks have a duty to conserve the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area, and to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the natural environemtn to the general the public. With that in mind, it seems unbelievable that a similar structure has not been agreed for designated areas of ocean.
Speaking to The Guardian, Charles Clover, executive director of Blue Marine Foundation, said: “It is remarkable that we have no parks in the sea, after 70 years of national parks on land. Our natural heritage is right there, just off the beach, but paradoxically the public is hardly involved in the enjoyment or the stewardship of this island nation’s greatest asset.”
Read more about ocean issues and Goal 14 – Life Below Water – here!