The Marine Reserves Coalition was established in 2011 with a single goal:  to increase the area of ocean protected within marine reserves; fully protected, no-take marine areas, closed to all extractive and potentially damaging activities. We are primarily interested in establishing Marine Reserves in seas under UK jurisdiction, and our members played a key role in the establishment of the Chagos Marine Reserve, in the British Indian Ocean Territory.

We believe that networks of marine reserves, covering at least 30% of the oceans, must be established to help protect and restore marine species and habitats and support the wider marine environment.

Currently less than 3% of the oceans are nominally protected in ‘Marine Protected Areas’ and only a tiny fraction of these are fully protected marine reserves. This is not good enough.

When taking into account the 14 UK Overseas Territories, the UK has the fifth largest marine area in the world (6.8 million square kilometres). With such a large (and in many cases rich) marine environment under its jurisdiction, the UK has a responsibility, and a real opportunity to meet and exceed national and international marine protection targets and become a world leader in marine stewardship.

The Marine Reserves Coalition wants the UK Government to take on this responsibility and create networks of marine reserves throughout UK seas, and encourage other nations to do the same.

Restoring the oceans will take time. We need to act now.