March To Save Sea Life
A mass march from the South Bank to the Houses of Parliament on Monday (25th February 2013) will deliver around 40,000 postcards in support of protecting British seas with a network of special "Marine Conservation Zones".

The cards have been collected by the UK Sea Life centre network, which has organised the procession in conjunction with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS).
March to Save Sea Life
Fish Fight campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has also now joined the delegation, as have members of the British Sub Aqua Club.

Sea Life and MCS are calling for a clear timetable for approving all 127 recommended Marine Conservation Zones which Government scientists have accepted are necessary to protect native marine life.

Environment Minister Richard Benyon stunned conservation groups in December when he announced that just 31 of the proposed sites would be approved.

Sea Life Senior Marine Biologist, Rob Hicks, said it was sad and disappointing.

"At Sea Life we see a microcosm of the amazing wildlife that inhabits our seas. To know that there are both sea creatures and habitats in English waters that are now at serious risk because of this decision is incredibly concerning."

"The evidence of dwindling catches, shrinking average sizes of those fish that are caught, and disappearance of species like the undulate ray is sufficient in our view to justify action now. It may well be too late in four, five or ten year´s time!"

The Thames estuary up to and beyond Westminster Bridge, is one of the designated sites which failed to win approval, and over which the marchers will pass on 25th February 2013.

They will congregate outside Parliament at 12 noon for a rally which will be addressed by Fearney-Whittingstall, MCS marine scientist Dr Jean-Luc Solandt and Sea Life´s European curator Ralph Westmacott.

Dr Solandt commented: "English seas have suffered decades of damage by human activities such as bottom-trawling, dredging and indiscriminate mooring."

"We need to protect our seas now. Over 1 million people took part in the process that resulted in the list of 127 recommended MCZs. For Defra to then say it will only designate 31 is unbelievably naive."

The event is timed to coincide with Ministers returning to Westminster after the recess, and to pressure Government into agreeing a clear timetable to get the other 96 MCZs designated as quickly as possible.
Press Release issued by SEA LIFE
For more details, please contact Mark Oakley 01202 440040
Date: 23rd February 2013