Zac Goldsmith, MP, made the keynote speech about marine issues at the Conservative Environment Network event in the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham, during the Conservative party conference. In it he praised Sam Barker for reinventing the group and attracting enormous interest from Tory MPs and peers, saying “the group is more important now than ever.”
He praised David Cameron and Oliver Letwin for delivering the manifesto commitment to create “Blue Belts” around the UK Overseas territories. He said this was the “biggest conservation commitment by any government ever. ”
He singled out for praise also Cole Simons, the Bermuda environment minister, who was in the audience, Mr Goldsmith said it was “fantastic” to see the minister at this event and praised the announcement Bermuda had made that morning of a satellite study aimed at identifying any illegal fishing in and around Bermuda’s EEZ.
He added: “it shows that the Blue Belts are not something instructed by Whitehall to the overseas territories but something that the territories are doing for themselves and which Whitehall is helping them to achieve .”
Photo: Cole Simons, Environment Minister, Bermuda, Zac Goldsmith MP and Charles Clover, BLUE’s Executive Director