“Back the BlueBelt” Campaign picks up pace

Coral Ocean, biodiversity targets, Reef, No-Take Zone, NTZ, MPA

The “BackTheBlueBelt” campaign to establish a ‘bluebelt’ around 7 British overseas territories has received the backing of 133 MPs. The 1.5million-square mile zone would be the largest network of ocean sanctuaries and protect wildlife from microplastics.

Britain must designate its overseas territories as ‘bluebelt’ to help protect wildlife and prevent plastic pollution entering the oceans, campaigners have said.

Following the final episode of Blue Planet II which showed the devastating impact of humans on the world’s seas, the Great British Oceans coalition called on the government to safeguard its remote marine zones, which are home to some of the world’s most endangered species.

Protected Areas

Already 133 MPs have backed the campaign to create 1.5 million square miles of protected ‘bluebelt’ around seven British overseas territories which contain the breeding grounds for a quarter of the world’s penguins, and one third of the world’s albatrosses.

The proposed bluebelt zone would cover Ascension Island, South Georgia, Saint Helena, Tristan da Cunha and the South Sandwich Islands, in the south Atlantic, as well as the British Antarctic Territory, the British Indian Ocean Territory and Pitcairn Islands in the southern Pacific. It would be the world’s biggest network of ocean sanctuaries.

Each year more than 300 million tons of plastic are produced globally, and 10 per cent will end up in the sea. It is estimated that there is now a 1:2 ratio of plastic to plankton and, left unchecked, plastic will outweigh fish by 2050.

A separate campaign, which also launches today, led by the Marine Conservation Society, Surfers Against Sewage, the High Seas Alliance and the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, is calling for at least 30 per cent of global ocean to be designated as marine sanctuaries.

Read the full article at The Telegraph.

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