Thousands back WWF call for Welsh Government to create Marine Conservation Zones
8 June 2012
WWF Cymru says it’s been ‘taken aback’ by the public support for its campaign to increase protection for marine wildlife off the Welsh coast.
Over 2600 people have so far responded to the conservation body’s call for people to write to the Welsh Government, backing the creation of highly protected ‘Marine Conservation Zones’ (MCZs), which would halt damage in a small number of designated areas around the coast.
The Government is due to designate 3 or 4 sites by Spring 2014. This means that for the first time in Wales, there would be protected areas where damaging activities won’t be allowed, so that wildlife can flourish.
Dr Wendy Dodds, Senior Marine Policy Officer for WWF Cymru, said:
“We know that people value the Welsh coast and the rich array of wildlife that we have in Welsh waters, but we’ve been taken aback by the scale of the response. It’s brilliant that so many people have taken the time to write to government in support of our campaign.”
“With species such as dolphins, whales and turtles living in the waters around Wales, we believe it’s essential to designate some areas where damaging activities cannot take place, in order to protect valuable marine habitats.”
This is a fantastic level of support which will send a clear message to the Welsh government that the public want greater protection for the wildlife in our seas.”
A number of activities take place around the Welsh coast, including fishing, transport, recreation and energy generation. WWF Cymru wants to see a joined up approach to managing our seas, that supports livelihoods alongside conservation. The organisation is calling for:
- The Welsh Government to designate the best sites as new Marine Conservation Zones
- Proper management, enforcement and monitoring of these new sites
- Good management of existing protected marine sites