BLUE’S OCTOBER NEWSLETTER
Dear Friend of BLUE,
We’re pleased to share with you BLUE’s latest newsletter. The past few months have been incredibly productive for BLUE’s campaigns and project work in the UK and overseas. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any thoughts or questions.
One hundred eggs of critically endangered flapper skate discovered
BLUE has worked with Scottish divers and fishermen to reveal one of the largest egg-laying sites ever discovered for the flapper skate, located off the Isle of Skye. The flapper skate can grow to the size of a dining table and its eggs, see image above, can be over 25cm long. This giant creature is now extinct in much of its former range.
Despite being made aware of the site, Marine Scotland has yet to take action to protect it. BLUE is supporting the call to protect the breeding site, requiring immediate action from the Scottish Government. We are also calling for the reinstatement of an Inshore Limit around Scotland’s coast to protect these important sites from destructive fishing. Add your voice by signing the petition here.
BLUE pressures Government to ban destructive fishing and strengthen Fisheries Bill
Huge tracts of supposedly marine protected areas are being dredged and trawled off the UK coast. Following pressure from BLUE, the government has announced new government plans to tighten the rules on marine protected areas.
BLUE has been campaigning to strengthen the Fisheries Bill and wrote a letter to Fisheries Minister, Victoria Prentis, warning that BLUE will seek a judicial review unless UK government commits to protecting the Dogger Bank and other offshore marine reserves from January 1. BLUE published a landmark report with ClientEarth, Marine Conservation Society and WWF reiterating the urgent need for harmful fishing activities like electric pulse fishing on the Dogger Bank to be halted immediately in compliance with European and UK law.
Emergency meeting needed to save yellowfin tuna
BLUE has called for an emergency meeting to deal with the continued overfishing of yellowfin tuna in the Indian Ocean. The call was made as part of a report published this week, exposing the failure of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission to effectively manage the stock which, scientists say, could collapse as soon as 2026. The report comes just weeks after BLUE revealed that Spanish and French fleets have been “going dark” in the Indian Ocean, spending up to 80 per cent of their time with AIS switched off, against regulations.
Early signs of recovery in Jersey’s marine habitats ‘extremely encouraging’
Observations by BLUE PhD Researcher, Sam Blampied, in Jersey’s marine protected areas suggest that important habitat such as seagrass and maerl are flourishing under protection. Sam has also observed a host of creatures in the protected areas, including tope sharks, listed as vulnerable by the IUCN.
Maldives adds parrotfish to list of protected species
Parrotfish have been added to the “prohibited species” list in the Maldives just two months after BLUE’s Maldives Resilient Reefs project’s #FishForTomorrow campaign. The social media campaign emphasized the importance of parrotfish to the health of Maldivian coral reefs, and was supported by several local organisations, celebrities, fisheries scientists and members of the fishing community.
Endangered eels and cleaner waters as benefits of native oysters
We’re excited to say that a critically endangered European eel was found living in BLUE’s native oyster nurseries at Wightlink’s site in Lymington. As well as the biodiversity benefits, restoring the native oyster population could create cleaner seas around the UK.
Coral restoration: is it worth it?
Vivienne Evans, BLUE’s International Projects Manager, discusses the shortfalls of coral restoration in her most recent blog, Coral restoration: is it worth it?. The blog discusses why planting corals may seem a quick fix for the overwhelming task of saving coral reefs, but we must be realistic about what it will achieve.
BLUE team member stars in documentary
Rory Moore, BLUE’s Head of International Projects, features in a new documentary on Amazon Prime; Saving the Dinosaur Fish. Follow Rory to the Caspian Sea, where this fish has been brought to the brink of extinction by habitat destruction and poaching.
The Importance of ocean meadows
Shaha Hashim, BLUE’s Laamu Project Manager, discusses her love for and the importance of ocean meadows for Oceanographic Magazine. You can also listen to Shaha in conversation on the difficulties of restoring a healthy ocean for the Maldives in the face of climate change.
BLUE and Adnams form “Kobold” partnership to protect the North Sea
You can now have a drink and save the ocean at the same time! BLUE is excited to announce a new partnership with Adnams. Adnams is supporting BLUE’s projects rewilding the UK’s offshore marine protected areas through the sale of its new premium lager, Kobold, which is already proving popular across the UK.
Rewilding the sea conference report published
Rewilding the Sea, BLUE’s first digital conference, was held in June. We are delighted to now publish the conference report summarising the event. You can watch the morning session of the conference on YouTube.