With informative sessions, guest speakers, an inspirational awards ceremony and the chance to put questions to our experts, our conference will explore the vital role the ocean can play in combating climate change.
Thursday, 2nd December 2021 event timings
7pm – Welcome
With our host for the evening, Tom "The Blowfish" Hird
Tom is a marine biologist, broadcaster, author and science communicator, whose aim is to encourage conservation by shaking up the established way of doing things. A regular face on British TV, Tom has appeared as ‘The Blowfish' – the world’s ONLY heavy metal marine biologist’ on CBBC, ITV, BBC, CITV and on Channel 4 as Sunday Brunch’s resident wildlife expert.
Marine biologist, Tom "The Blowfish" Hird will be our host for the evening
7.05pm – Overview of the year
With Marine Conservation Society Chair of Trustees, Amanda Nobbs, and CEO Sandy Luk
Join Amanda and Sandy as they take a look back at the Marine Conservation Society's work over the past year.
As well as highlighting our achievements and plans for the future, they'll be exploring the vital role that the ocean can play in combating climate change, and sharing how we'll be continuing to fight for cleaner, better protected and healthy seas.
Sandy Luk, CEO
7.15pm – An introduction to rewilding our seas
With Dr Peter Richardson, Head of Ocean Recovery, Marine Conservation Society
Rewilding can be described as “The large-scale restoration of ecosystems to the point where nature is allowed to take care of itself. Rewilding seeks to reinstate natural processes and, where appropriate, missing species – allowing them to shape the land and sea and the habitats within. Rewilding encourages a balance between people and the rest of nature so that we thrive together."
Credit: Amdeep Sanghera
7.25pm Shoal sessions
These 10-minute talks are an opportunity to hear from our experts about why rewilding the ocean is so vital. You'll be invited to choose one of the live sessions when you register. All break out sessions will be recorded for you to watch after the conference.
What is blue carbon and why does it matter?
With Dr Chris Tuckett, Director of Programmes, Marine Conservation Society
Carbon contained in marine and coastal ecosystems is critical to the UK’s carbon strategy. Seagrass, seaweed, saltmarshes and seafloor sediment must be protected and rewilded in the same way as our woodlands and peatbogs. Dr Tuckett will explain how blue carbon strategies are an effective long-term solution for reducing the UK's carbon footprint and mitigating climate change.
Ocean innovation: the future of blue science
With Doug Allan, wildlife and documentary cameraman
Doug Allan has spent 40 years at frontiers of climate breakdown and has unparalleled first-hand experience of the challenges affecting our ocean. By tackling plastic pollution, overfishing, accelerating new technologies and financing innovation, he believes a better, more sustainable future is possible.
Credit: Gary Yim via Shutterstock
Seagrass: the ocean’s climate super hero
With Dr Jean-Luc Solandt, Principal Specialist in Marine Protected Areas, Marine Conservation Society
This tiny plant might not look that special but it punches well above its weight. Seagrass beds are not only an important marine habitat for many UK species but they lock in huge amounts of carbon too. Up to 92% of the UK's seagrass has been lost over the last century. Dr Solandt will explain how we're working hard to reverse the decline.
Credit: Georgie Bull
Ocean action: how together we can fight for a healthier, better protected ocean for future generations
With Professor Ben Garrod, evolutionary biologist, broadcaster and author
The ocean covers 70% of the earth’s surface but only 5% of it has been explored. We need to build bridges between scientific understanding and reaching wider audiences to fight for healthy seas, where nature flourishes and people thrive.
Prof Garrod will talk about how communities, businesses and governments must work together for social, political and cultural change.
Credit: Peter Richardson
Politicians' promises in practice: how we're holding politicians to account to save our seas
With Anna Gelderd, Public Affairs Manager, Marine Conservation Society
Today, our ocean is in crisis because of human activity. We’re determined to tackle this growing emergency by holding politicians to account. A healthy ocean can help protect us against climate change and sustain diverse species, including our own. We need our government to put meaningful policies in place now to preserve the ocean for generations to come.
7.35pm – Short video break
7.40pm – Rewilding Q&A session
A chance for attendees to ask our experts about our work, marine rewilding and blue carbon.
Please note: Although we hope to answer live questions on the evening, attendees will be asked to submit their questions as part of the registration process to ensure that we are able to answer as many questions as possible
8pm – Annual Marine Conservation Society awards ceremony
- Fundraiser of the Year
- Young Fundraiser of the Year
- Outstanding Achievement of the Year
- Young Ocean Optimists of the Year
- Under 13 years old
- 13 - 18 years old
8.10pm – Guest speaker
With Deborah Meaden, Dragon’s Den star and entrepreneur
Ocean Ambassador Deborah Meaden will give her thoughts on what we can all do, including businesses, to protect the ocean and help fight climate change. "For too long we’ve treated the ocean with little respect, too many fish have been taken out, too much rubbish put in.
"Now our seas are paying the price: species are in decline, litter levels are rising and damaging activities are allowed to go unrestricted."
Deborah Meaden, Ocean Ambassador
8.20pm – Short break
8.25pm – Marine Conservation Society AGM
With Marine Conservation Society Chair of Trustees, Amanda Nobbs
Amanda Nobbs will review the performance of the Marine Conservation Society over the past year and talk about key issues the charity is facing.
The AGM will include the approval of the annual report and accounts, and the election of a new Trustee. We invite all our members and supporters to join us for this online or in-person event. View the full AGM programme and documents here.
Amanda Nobbs, Chair and Trustee