Sir George has supported The Wildlife Trusts’ call for a Marine Bill in the next Queen’s Speech. He has shown his support by signing their ‘Petition Fish’ at an event in the House of Commons.
“I believe we need a Marine Bill urgently. At present less than 0.001% of our seas are protected by law. As an island nation, we have a responsibility to care for our seas and protect the wildlife that lives there, from dolphins to corals and starfish. I will do what I can to keep up the pressure on the Government for a Marine Bill to be included in the Queen’s Speech this autumn."
A good basis for a Marine Bill is the White Paper which sets out proposals for new measures to manage human activities at sea and protect marine habitats and wildlife. The White Paper is an important step towards the Government’s vision of “clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas”, but there’s still a long way to go.
Stephanie Hilborne, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts says: “I am delighted that Sir George has shown his support for the Marine Bill in this way. Like climate change, the destruction of marine wildlife is an urgent global issue and the UK Government must take a lead by protecting our own seas. We cannot delay marine legislation any longer - the urgency to protect marine biodiversity is unquestionable. The 2007 Queen’s Speech must include a commitment to a Marine Bill in the next parliamentary session.
The Wildlife Trusts’ ‘Petition Fish’ is one way to keep the Marine Bill in the public eye and make sure it gets onto the statute book. Throughout the summer we will be taking our ‘Petition Fish’ to Wildlife Trust events around the country so that the public can also sign scales to show their support. We plan to bring the fish with signed scales back to Westminster in the autumn.”