This video says about itself:
Seaham Dive Survey: marine life near Seaham
11 December 2009
A video of marine life near Seaham, North East England, by members of the Seaham Sub Aqua Club (narrated by diver and Marine Biologist Yvonne Townsend).
From Wildlife Extra:
Marine life at risk as number of new Marine Conservation Zones are cut
The Spiny Seahorse is one of the marine creatures that is in need of protection
Thirty seven sites had been proposed to go forward to a second public consultation on Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs), all identified by Government’s scientific advisers as vital to plugging “major gaps” that currently exist in the development of a UK network.
However, only 23 sites have made the final list when the consultation was launched on Friday 30th January.
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is supported in its criticism by the National Trust, which owns 750 miles of England’s coastline.
The Trust says the underwater landscape of England’s coastline must be protected in the same way the visible land is and the protection must be put in place now before it’s too late.
MCS says sound scientific advice has once again been ignored with 14 important sites not included in the consultation.
The charity says this tranche had been promoted as one to fill in major gaps, but instead appears to have slowed the MCZ process right down.
“We are alarmed that these proposed MCZs have been shelved, at least for the time being,” says MCS Biodiversity and Fisheries Programme Manager, Dr Peter Richardson.
“We believe all of the sites are necessary to achieve the Government’s stated commitment to deliver a full network. Delaying 14 sites means that a number of the UK’s iconic marine places and habitats are still not adequately protected.”
Simon Pryor, Natural Environment Director at the National Trust, said: “Steady progress is being made to have a good network of Marine Conservation Zones around the coast of England.
“However, it’s disappointing that we’re not even half way to the original target of 127 that the Government outlined just two years ago.
“With good stakeholder buy-in to the original network of 127 MCZs, we believe the Government should have the courage to bring forward the consultation on controversial sites, in order to work through any difficulties.
“Protecting the seas around the English coast must be a priority as they face unprecedented pressure. Without the protection that they deserve marine wildlife and the quality of our seas will suffer.”
Both groups say that important sites missing from the consultation will leave huge gaps in the network. Studland, Bembridge, Norris to Ryde, and Yarmouth to Cowes have all been dropped, putting at risk the future of the spiny seahorse, mantis shrimps and large seagrass meadows.
MCS says that all the 23 sites that have made it to the consultation stage must be designated. These include well-known Cromer Shoals Chalk Beds referred by many as the “great barrier reef of Norfolk”, Farnes East which hosts an array of seabed life such as sea pens, and Newquay and The Gannel known for its crawfish, pink sea fans and migrating eels and salmon.
Last year, NGOs delivered a petition of over 350,000 signatures to the Prime Minister calling for a network of marine protected areas.
Over 150 cross-party MPs have signed a Marine Charter calling for an ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas.
Recently, the Natural Capital Committee, an independent advisory group, told the Government that England’s natural environment decline is damaging the economy.
MCS and the National Trust are urging their supporters and the wider public to take part in the public consultation by going to www.mcsuk.org/mpa.