NEW SW ENGLAND MARINE PARK
At the University of Plymouth, Luke Pollard, MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, launched proposals to create a new SW England Marine Park, which will be the UK’s First National Marine Park (NMP) in Plymouth Sound. The prospectus sets out why Plymouth Sound should be the UK’s first NMP and the benefits it would deliver for people, business and the environment.
The path to this long awaited publication has seen Plymouth’s marine experts come together over the past year and gather national and international backing from the Environment Secretary Michael Gove and UN Patron of the Ocean, Lewis Pugh.
Plymouth Sound is one of the most unique marine environments in the UK. It includes the Plymouth Sound and Tamar Estuaries Marine Protected Area designated for its abundance and diversity of wildlife, the largest naval base in western Europe, a nationally significant fish market, over 13,000 people in Plymouth are employed in the marine sector, it is home to world-class marine research and boasts a rich maritime history. Nowhere in the UK is more deserving of special recognition. Developing a National Marine Park (NMP) here in Plymouth will not only provide a huge local benefit but it will provide a model, which campaigners intend to roll out across coastal communities on a national scale.
The vision behind the NMP is to develop a new designation that will enable people to better understand the marine environment and form a closer bond with the ocean.
The city’s unique natural suitability for this project is also matched by its world class marine institutions that have fuelled the campaign. The University of Plymouth: Marine and Coastal Policy Research Unit (MarCoPol), Marine Biological Association (MBA), Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) and the National Marine Aquarium have all come together to work on the bold and ambitious prospectus that will launch this week.
Luke Pollard MP said: “I have made creating a National Marine Park in Plymouth Sound one of my key campaigns as an MP. Plymouth has so much to be proud of in relation to the marine environment. From truly world-class marine science at the University, PML and MBA, to world-class engineering at Babcock, M-Subs, Thales and Princess Yachts. Plymouth Sound is the jewel in our crown as a city and the proposals to designate it as the UK’s first National Marine Park will help put Plymouth on the map. We are so good at so many things as a city, we are best at not telling anyone how good we are. That needs to change and the prospectus I am publishing today to create the country’s first marine park will help shine a light on our city’s marine success stories.
“Plymouth is already Britain’s Ocean City. We think a National Marine Park will improve understanding of the marine environment and create a greater sense of public engagement in the waters around Plymouth.
“I want to pay tribute to the brilliant teams from across Plymouth who have worked hard on this proposal and combined wide ranging expertise to make a robust case for the UK’s first National Marine Park. This new designation not about stopping anyone doing anything but about encouraging sustainable economic activity to sit alongside a sustainable environment.
“We were all shocked by Blue Planet II at the state of our oceans. To stop the damage of dangerous climate change means we need to take bold action to safeguard our oceans and create a new bond with our environment to pass on to the next generation. The time to act is now. Our ambition laid out in this prospectus is bold and that is what this is all about. Let’s get behind this campaign as a city and make it happen.”