WWF calls for "emergency" action on UK seas

"Oceans act," fishing-free zones needed; research shows impact of climate change

New legislation is urgently needed to boost protection of Britain's marine environment, WWF UK said today. The group claimed that decades of mismanagement of marine habitats and unsustainable fishing practices had created a crisis.

The group is calling for a coordinated effort from governments in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff to pass an "oceans act". It wants pilot fishing-free zones to test whether commercial fish stocks can recover. In addition, it suggests a sharp increase in the proportion of the marine environment with protected status. The current level is under 1%, the group says.

A WWF spokesperson told ENDS Daily that the group was not seeking to attack the fishing industry. He said that work with Britain's largest fishing organisation, the Scottish Fishermen's Federation, had shown fishermen to be supportive of marine protection measures that could eventually lead to recovery of commercial fish stocks.

Follow Up:
WWF UK, tel: +44 1483 42 64 44; Marine health check report.

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