Full Protections for Parts of English Coastline

England Implements Full Protections For Some Areas Off-Coastline. Source: Unsplash
Reading Time: 2 minutes

England Implements Full Protections For Some Areas Off-Coastline. Source: Unsplash

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Marine wildlife protections are dismally low for most areas worldwide. Fishing and mining are incredibly important to the local economies of many seaside towns and cities. So any environmental protection comes at a cost directly for those who rely on those industries to survive. This remains true as overfishing threatens the populations of many marine species, and mining and underwater cable laying devastate the habitats of many creatures.

However, as we work towards a cleaner and more sustainable world, governments of many nations are attempting to put into place a coherent plan to seriously protect the marine life of their respective waters. The UK government is doing exactly this by implementing Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMA).

Marine environmental damage has become a major issue as humans have only recently been able to seriously alter the amount of fish and other marine life. Since the advent of industrialization, fishermen have utilized mass-produced nets to scoop up wholesale populations of marine animals. Mining has its expected environmental cost as much on land as on water, and this is no different in England as it is anywhere else.

The HMPAs will do a lot to protect marine life in the three areas the HPMA has been implemented: Allonby Bay, Dolphin Head, and Northeast Farnes Deep. This strategy of protecting vulnerable marine life is part of a broader push by the UK government to reach the goal of 30% of England’s waters being protected by 2030.

However, many scientists and activists say this is not enough to reach their goals. Initially, five HPMAs were proposed, with two being dropped due to the impact on the local economies in the proposed areas. “I’m totally dismayed that the government has only decided to designate three of the five proposed HPMAs,” said the head of marine conservation, Dr. Lissa Batey, “They’re a good first step, but we really need to do more if we’re to turn the tide on nature’s recovery and bring wildlife back.” 

Continuing business as usual is what got us into the dangerous predicament we are in right now. We cannot afford any longer to continue to allow the exploitation and devastation of our seas and oceans, and to see the UK dragging its feet on this is disappointing.

However, despite the lack of serious commitment to a comprehensive plan, it is still a step in the right direction, albeit a baby step. More and more marine areas in England need to become designated protected sites. Hopefully, in the coming years, the UK government will commit to protecting 30% of English waters. Scotland has a similar plan, with a plan for protecting 10% of its waters. 

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