Blue Marine’s Christmas newsletter
Dear friend of Blue Marine,
2022 has been another exciting, challenging and successful year for Blue Marine. Highlights have included a doubling of English waters closed to bottom trawling, thanks in large part to a banning of bottom trawling on the Dogger Bank following a threat of legal action by Blue Marine, plus the first no-take zones announced in Greece, tens of thousands of oysters restored to the Solent as part of a major rewilding project and, talking of rewilding, the publication of Charles Clover’s book Rewilding the Sea.
We’d like to thank everyone who has supported us with funding, signatures on our petition, letters to MPs, miles pedalled, time and your ongoing enthusiasm for what we do. It’s what keeps us going.
From everyone in the team at Blue Marine, we’d like to wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas and we look forward to sharing more achievements with you in 2023.
The Blue Marine team take unsteadily to the ice!
Ocean protection on the global stage
The world never had an agreement to protect 30 per cent of land and sea for nature by 2030. It does now, following the historic agreement at COP15, the UN biodiversity conference in Montreal. The deal also says the vast majority of the countries in the world will halt (and proceed to reverse) biodiversity loss by 2030 by the same date. A tall order, perhaps, but a commitment emphatically worth making.
Blue Marine’s part in this goes all the way back to
persuading Michael Gove to adopt 30 per cent as the UK target for ocean protection back in 2018 (thanks in large part to the efforts of Lewis Pugh, who had just swum the length of the busy and polluted English Channel). As a result of the Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Framework, some countries will now have to move at a speed as yet unseen, and the UK will have to do more to protect its domestic waters, but a global target is set.
Environment Secretary Therese Coffey alongside Blue Marine’s executive director, Charles Clover, Anna Gelderd and Brendon Querioz, Marine Conservation Society, and Ed Goodall, Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, at the COP15 Ocean Action Reception.
Blue Marine was well represented in Montreal and beforehand joined a group of 76 biodiversity scientists from 17 countries urging COP15 negotiators to agree 2030 targets. Professor Callum Roberts published a paper reinforcing why achieving 30×30 is critical if we want to halt biodiversity loss, stimulate nature recovery in the sea and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Blue Marine was fully represented, too, at COP27, the UN climate change conference, in Sharm el-Sheikh. Blue Marine attended multiple events championing the importance of blue carbon habitats and ocean health and was a partner in the first ocean pavilion – a platform for encouraging world leaders to step up and include the ocean in the fight against climate change.
Overwhelming public support to save British cod
Atlantic cod. Credit: Alex Mustard
We are hugely grateful to the more than 10,000 of you who supported our #BringBackBritishCod campaign, calling on the UK Government to address the decline of Atlantic cod in British waters. The petition, supported by The National Federation of Fish Friers and other NGOs, urged the UK Government to set catch limits for cod according to scientific advice at the annual fisheries negotiations this month. The campaign video, narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Jude Law, can be watched here.
In his opinion piece for The Guardian, Blue Marine executive director, Charles Clover said: “These national assets – which, under British law, belong to the king on behalf of the people – have declined precipitously in the past four decades.”
Sadly, catch limit negotiations have not lived up to expectations this month, as the government continues to follow advice only when the advice is to increase. With significant public support, we will continue to fight for sustainable
limits where they matter most.
Restoring life to the Solent’s seascape
The Solent seascape. Credit: Shaun Roster
Leading restoration elsewhere in the UK, a project to restore marine habitats across the Solent has been granted $5m by the Endangered Landscapes Programme, managed by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative. Blue Marine and nine other organisations, including Natural England and the University of Portsmouth, will work together to restore and reconnect seagrass meadows, oyster reefs, saltmarsh and seabird nesting habitat over the next five years as part of the Solent Seascape Project. The project aims to protect and restore at least 30
per cent of the Solent’s seascape in line with the global target to protect 30 per cent of the world’s marine environment by 2030.
Louise MacCallum, Blue Marine’s Solent Project Manager, who described the approach as ‘pioneering’, said: ‘Using our combined knowledge, passion and experience on a project which will genuinely benefit marine wildlife in an area of the world we all love is such an amazing thing to be able to do.’
Ride of endurance for ocean conservation
The 2022 London to Monaco riders. Credit: David Churchill
Back on the road for the first time in three years, London to Monaco 2022 saw 60 cyclists tackle five countries and 1,000 kms over eight-days, raising £320,000 for our oceans – surpassing the £250,000 target.
The ride ended with a bespoke capsule auction, led by Blue Marine Yacht Club, featuring four carefully curated lots, raising a further £1.15 million. Among the lots was an ocean-inspired Blue Marine electric MOKE car, an exclusive trip to St Barts, a beautifully hand-crafted wooden surfboard, as well as a tailor-made ten-day discovery experience exploring the untouched gems of the Dutch Caribbean.
A huge congratulations to all those who took on the challenge of riding with us and thank you to everyone who donated, our event partners, sponsors and corporate teams.
Just how effective are Jersey’s Marine Protected Areas?
Measuring the carapace of a Jersey chancre crab (aka brown crab)
Making the case for protection, in her new blog, Blue Marine’s UK Research Officer, Emily Bulled, reveals how her fieldwork to understand the effectiveness of two of Jersey’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Demonstrating the importance of Jersey’s MPAs in assisting commercial species recovery and protecting the diversity of species, Emily found “significantly greater abundances of lobster in the Minquiers than outside the MPA, and significantly greater brown crab abundances inside the MPAs than
Read Emily’s full blog here.