Wera has backed a motion urging the government to create a blue belt in Britain's most vulnerable waters...
The motion, entitled The Blue Belt Charter, calls on the government to:
- Sign the Blue Belt Charter.
- Ensure that the UK remains a leading force within those international bodies concerned with greater protection of the Polar Regions, the UN process for establishing Marine Protected Areas on the High Seas, and within the Regional Fisheries Management Organisations.
- Reaffirm its leadership in ocean conservation.
- Establish a 500,000 km2 fully protected Marine Protected Area around the South Sandwich Islands in 2018.
- Deliver on the commitment to establish a fully protected Marine Protected Area in at least 50 per cent of Ascension Island's waters in 2019.
- Support the establishment of a locally-led marine protection regime throughout the waters of Tristan da Cunha by 2020.
- Strengthen the development of the locally-led marine protection regime throughout the waters of St Helena.
The UK has the fifth largest marine estate in the world. The UK and its Overseas Territories are custodian to the largest coral atoll on earth, globally significant populations of albatross, whales and turtles, and a quarter of the penguins on the planet.
Wera said "I'm delighted to support this motion. This is a vital step that we must take to fight the rapid degradation of our oceans. As anyone who watched David Attenborough's dazzling Blue Planet 2 will know, this can not happen soon enough."