27 September 2012
Green Party: ‘Coalition marine conservation strategy needs urgent overhaul’
The Green Party calls upon the coalition to urgently overhaul their marine conservation strategy, in the wake of heightened food insecurity caused by the degradation of the marine environment.
A study by the campaign group Oceana, Ocean-Based Food Security Threatened in a High CO2 World, has concluded that some of the poorest nations can expect to lose up to 40% of their fish-catch by 2050 due to climate change and ocean acidification.
Caroline Allen, from the Green Party’s Policy Committee said: ‘We already know that there aren’t plenty more fish in sea, as over fishing and pollution of the marine environment have left fish stocks in a perilous state. Now this study shows how climate change will further exacerbate this situation, especially for poorer countries. These countries are more likely to have whole communities heavily reliant on fish and other seafood as major contributors to their diet. International bodies, including the EU, must act now to ensure that these vulnerable countries’ fish stocks are protected from the large scale, extremely destructive industrial fishing that is currently being carried out by foreign boats. And of course urgent action on climate change is needed. Changes in climate will have major impacts on land based food production too, which are also likely to have significant detrimental effects on our food security. We need to re-localise our food systems.’
The UK has a great opportunity to lead the way in the protection and management of the world’s aquaculture – only four other countries in the world are responsible for more of the world’s seas than the UK.
The Green Party advocates the expansion of Marine Protected Areas, with 30% of the world’s oceans completely closed to extractive activities, and a shift away from large-scale industrial fishing to locally based sustainable models, thus protecting the environment and jobs.
The government is squandering the opportunity to take the lead in marine conservation, and as such is leaving millions worldwide to a preventable fate of hunger and neglect.
For more information contact Zoe Hall on 0207 549 0315 or firstname.lastname@example.org