BLUE’S NEWSLETTER AND REVIEW
Dear Friend of BLUE,
We are pleased to share with you BLUE’s latest newsletter.
2021 was the year when, finally, the importance of ocean health and the potential of “nature-based solutions” in the ocean began to be spoken about with urgency. BLUE took the opportunity of COP26 to significantly increase the profile and understanding about blue carbon and the ocean’s critical role in mitigating against climate change. 2021 also brought milestone achievements for BLUE’s projects in protection and restoration, including 300 sq km of Sussex seabed protected from damaging trawl fishing and the creation of the Solent’s first oyster restoration reef in Langstone Harbour. Learn more about all of BLUE’s latest activities and achievements in our 2021 Review here.
The Ocean vs Climate Change
BLUE reminded COP26 negotiators of the ocean’s role in mitigating against the climate crisis with a moving blue carbon seascape showcased on a huge screen in the UN’s Blue Zone cafeteria – being discussed here by HRH Princess Eugenie and
Clare Brook, BLUE’s CEO. The video was born of BLUE’s new interactive web experience, The Sea We Breathe, which submerges the user in an underwater world and connects them to the natural climate solutions of the ocean.
The crucial role of the seabed
The top sediment layer of the English North Sea seabed contains the equivalent of 20 per cent of the carbon stored in Britain’s forests, a new report has found. The study, commissioned by BLUE, the North Sea Wildlife trusts, WWF, RSPB and led by the Scottish Association for Marine Science finds that the top 10cm of sediment stores 100 million tonnes of carbon, which is not protected from the disturbances of trawlers. Read the report in full here.
Landmark Blue Carbon Seascape Survey announced
The boldest project yet to understand the carbon seascape was announced on Ocean’s Day of COP26 in a multi-million-dollar partnership between Convex Group Limited, BLUE and the University of Exeter. The Convex Seascape Survey will bring together a multidisciplinary team of world-class ocean and blue carbon scientists, in an ambitious five-year global research programme.
Raising the profile of Blue Carbon
Strong Overseas, Weak at Home
A Parliamentary Briefing produced by BLUE in advance of COP26 found that while many of the UK’s overseas territories enjoy world class marine protection, the UK’s domestic marine management continues to be lamentable. Over the coming months, BLUE will be ramping up its campaign to see a ban on bottom trawling in all UK Marine Protected Areas. Read the full briefing here.
Cod stocks heading for new record low
The Times revealed a bleak future for UK cod with the already-collapsed stock facing a record low after fishing ministers ignored scientific advice, setting catch limits for all five stocks above the level advised by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). Charles Clover, executive director of BLUE, said ministers had chosen to support the fishing industry’s short-term profits over long-term marine protection and stock recovery.
The Solent’s first oyster restoration reef has been created
In the culmination of years of work and partnership between BLUE and the University of Portsmouth, the UK’s first oyster restoration reef has been created in the Solent’s Langstone Harbour. BBC’s The One Show broadcast a film of the oyster drop during COP to an audience of millions. BLUE hopes the project will restore biodiversity and rejuvenate a once-vibrant oyster population along the south coast.
A Marine Park for Jersey
A National Marine Park for Jersey could transform the Island into an environmental haven by 2030. Jersey has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to be a conservational pioneer and help set a gold standard globally for marine protected areas. “A marine park would provide protection to ‘high-value habitats’ – habitats that are essential for biodiversity, carbon sequestration, sustaining fisheries and the wellbeing of Jersey’s population”, said BLUE’s Jersey project manager, Appin
Rewilding The Sea: How to Save Our Oceans
Charles Clover’s widely anticipated follow-up to The End of the Line has been acquired by Ebury imprint Witness Books. Rewilding the Sea: How to Save Our Oceans will be published on World Oceans Day, 8 June 2022. “I doubt any more important book will be published this year” – Stephen Fry. Pre order here .
The Big Heart Edit, aims to raise £30K for BLUE in a series of unique luxury goods Instagram-based auctions. Their latest Christmas auction featured a pair of luxury vegan trainers designed in collaboration between BLUE Trustee Sofia Blount and LOCI sneakers, with 100 per cent of profits going to BLUE.