The Marine Reserves Coalition is calling on the UK Government to commit to establishing representative networks of marine reserves throughout its territories that:
1. Are fully protected
All extractive and potentially damaging activities, such as fishing, dredging and mining, must be prohibited within marine reserves.
2. Cover at least 30% of seas under UK jurisdiction
To enable the recovery of marine biodiversity, including fish stocks, as required under EU legislation and other international obligations, it is imperative that the UK Government commits to designating at least 30% of its seas (including both the British Isles and the UK Overseas Territories) as ecologically representative marine reserves by 2020, with a clear timetable and means to achieve this.
3. Are managed effectively
Marine reserves must be properly managed for the long-term to ensure that marine species and habitats within them are fully protected, with sufficient technical and logistical capacity available at the national and regional levels.
4. Protect outstanding areas in their entirety
Some marine areas that have near pristine biological, ecological, geological features should be protected in their entirety. Protection of these irreplaceable areas and natural resources is an obligation for the benefit of future generations.
Furthermore, the UK Government must encourage other nations to adopt similar targets with respect to their own waters and to show leadership in the initiation of marine reserves on the high seas (areas beyond national jurisdiction).