We need your help

You can help protect 4 million square kilometres of ocean if you tell your MP to #BackTheBlueBelt now

 

GREAT BRITISH OCEANS

Preserving our seas for our planet and for the future

 

Protecting

Preserving our seas for our planet and for the future

OUR OVERSEAS TERRITORIES

THESE ARE SOME OF THE MARINE REGIONS WE HOLD THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT

Pitcairn’s Waters

Pitcairn’s waters are some of the most pristine on Earth and support one of the best-preserved marine ecosystems on the planet.

Threatened Species

Pitcairn's waters support 49 threatened and vulnerable marine species – including whales, seabirds, endangered turtles, fish and globally threatened corals. Many of these species are found nowhere else in the world.

Sustainable Future

Establishing a marine reserve in Pitcairn would help to provide a sustainable future for the Islands’ residents, by boosting scientific- and conservation-related tourism to the area

Refuge

Ascension Island is a precious refuge for Atlantic Ocean marine life – such as whales, dolphins, endangered sharks and tuna

Unique

Ascension Island waters are home to unique flora, fauna and reef species that are found nowhere else on Earth

Breeding

Ascension Island is home to one of the world’s most important nesting grounds for tropical seabirds and one of the Atlantic’s most important breeding grounds for the endangered green turtle

Colonies

The volcanic South Sandwich Islands host huge concentrations of wildlife, including vast penguin colonies, fur seals herds and whale populations

Threatened

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are home to seven species of globally threatened seabirds, including the wandering albatross

Birdlife

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands' coastline supports birds including the South Georgia diving petrel, South Georgia pintail and South Georgia shag - all species unique to the Islands

THE THREAT TO OUR OCEAN

With its 14 Overseas Territories, the United Kingdom is responsible for the fifth largest area of ocean in the world, measuring 6.8 million square km, over twice the size of India, and nearly 30 times the size of the UK itself. These waters represent possibly the most diverse marine portfolio on Earth – supporting a high number of rare and threatened species

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OUR OPPORTUNITY

In 2010, the UK took the first step by establishing the Chagos Marine Reserve. This was followed in 2015 and 2016 by announcements of the UK government’s intention to establish very large reserves around Pitcairn Islands in the Pacific Ocean, and Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean. We have the means and the opportunity to take action now to protect additional ocean ecosystems in the Overseas Territories. The Great British Oceans coalition is calling on the UK government to take action to protect special areas of significant environmental importance – by establishing some of the largest, fully protected marine reserves on earth.

As well as taking steps to protect marine areas around the UK mainland, we also need urgent action to safeguard the waters surrounding our overseas territories. We can act now to secure our national marine heritage before the incredible biodiversity in our waters is lost, leaving a lasting global legacy for our oceans and for future generations.

We are currently investigating the feasibility of enhancing marine protections in the waters around South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, where seasonal fishing activity is allowed, as well as protecting the marine environment of Tristan da Cunha, while supporting the environmental and economic needs of the local community.

HOW WE CAN ACT

With such an expansive area of ocean under its jurisdiction,
the UK has a great opportunity to safeguard marine life around its remote oceanic islands and Territories.
We urge the UK government to act…

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