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Plymouth Sound Marine Park

Despite the popularity of national parks on land, the UK has none to protect its rich coastal waters. Our campaign for a network of marine parks opened with the launch of a park at the historic Plymouth Sound 

The UK is home to some of the richest coastal waters in the world. Their biodiversity is protected by a long and confusing list of designations, but the nation at large remains completely disconnected from the sea. Blue Marine has discovered an opportunity to establish a series of marine parks, which could not only involve people effectively in the stewardship of their coastal waters, but also bring a wealth of benefits to deprived seaside communities. We have a vision for a marine park network by 2030, succeeding where so many attempts at marine conservation in this country have historically failed.  

In June 2018, Blue Marine invited 130 people to discuss the future of marine parks in the UK. The day ended with unanimous consensus that national marine parks as a concept could be used to better protect coastal waters while bringing shared prosperity, broader public engagement and regeneration of deprived coastal communities. The conference agreed that Plymouth should declare a marine park. On 14 September 2019, 70 years after the first UK national parks were designated on land, the city of Plymouth came together to announce the establishment of Plymouth Sound National Marine Park.     

From 2020, Plymouth entered a two-year development phase, in which citywide stakeholders helped to frame what the marine park should become. Blue Marine played a key role in the process, helping to shape the declaration, the identity of the park, and the engagement of the local population with the concept through our ‘Sea in the Park’ initiative delivered with the Marine Biological Association. Blue Marine also developed the SAFEGEAR initiative, fitting Automatic Identification System beacons to fishing equipment to eliminate lost or abandoned ‘ghost gear’ within the marine park. 

Plymouth Sound National Marine Park

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