Blue carbon and rewilding our waters

The Marine Conservation Society has released a new report in partnership with Rewilding Britain which outlines the importance of the UK’s seas in helping the UK to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

It is hoped that the report, entitled Blue Carbon – Ocean-based solutions to fight the climate crisis will persuade politicians and the public alike that ‘rewilding’ the ocean’s ecosystems will aid in the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to be stored in ‘natural solutions’, a process becoming known as ‘blue carbon’

They are calling on the UK Government and devolved administrations to act with urgency to invest in, co-develop and implement a four-nation Blue Carbon Strategy.

The suggested strategy focuses on three key action areas:

– Scaling up marine rewilding for biodiversity and blue carbon benefits

– Integrating blue carbon protection and recovery into climate mitigation and environmental management policies

– Working with the private sector to develop and support sustainable and innovative low-carbon commercial fisheries and aquaculture.

Read More

Read More

UK Government urged to accelerate ocean protection in COP26 plans

Major UK nature charities including WWF-UK and RSPB have unveiled plans to assess the UK government‘s measures to conserve and restore marine habitats this year, urging Ministers to take action ahead of COP26 this November.

The charities collaboratively developed the so-called ‘Marine Scorecard’ after Ministers declared 2021 to be the “marine super year” in January. This declaration was aligned with the UN dubbing the 2020s the ‘Ocean Decade’ and ‘Decade of Ecosystem Restoration’. With the UK having failed to deliver on previous ocean conservation and restoration promises, the scorecard will be completed later this year to give an updated snapshot of progress – or lack thereof.

While protected status has been broadened for marine habitats, NGOs believe that less than 1% of marine areas are properly protected. Previous WWF research has revealed that fully protecting one-third of UK seas could catalyse a £50bn boost for the economy and unlock 100,000 jobs.

Read More

Read More

Pollution from mining and damage by fisheries may have helped to eliminate 92% of UK seagrasses

Seagrass meadows are believed to be retreating around 7% per year globally, according to the most recent seagrass census.

Seagrasses play a large role in regulating ocean environments, storing more than twice as much carbon from planet-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) per square mile as forests do on land.

Pollution from mining and damage by fisheries may have helped to eliminate 92% of mainland Britain’s seagrasses in over a century, according to a March 4 study in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science.

If still intact, these could have supported around 400 million fish and stored up to 11.5 million tonnes of carbon — equivalent to 3% of Britain’s CO2 emissions in 2017, the study said.

Read More

Read More