Give our seas a hug in the #summeroflove

By: Clare Fischer
Date posted: 4 July 2018

It’s the summer of love - Love Island, the World Cup and the Marine Conservation Zone consultation. They’re not so very different - tight timescales and life changing. If you love the Island and want football to come home - make sure you’ve just enough love left to give our seas a hug.

For a month or so millions of us become lovers the beautiful game and have nailed our colours to the mast that is Harry Kane. But for those us, for whom the World Cup is just a bunch of lads running around after a ball and giving it the man hugs every now then, is all we have left futile searches of Netflix to find something decent to watch that doesn’t feature Gary Lineker or a big flag being held very taught on a field?

No. For those of us left cold by a nail biting penalty shoot-out and the shocking tackling of the Colombians - we have ‘Love Island’.

It’s here we get to watch the latest goings on in a swish villa in Mallorca, as a group of 20 something’s set about coupling, uncoupling and spending an awful lot of time under crisp, white, duvets.

Love Island cast 2018 Love Island cast 2018

This is where to score has a very different meaning, where you’ll never see a nil-nil draw and any tackling is done under the covers not under pressure from a centre forward.

But whether your eyes are on Russia (with love), or the bed spring breaking exploits of the islanders, we must extend this sizzling summer of euphoria and give our own island some love by ‘cracking’ on with protecting our seas.

So, here’s the thing with this. A public consultation (a bit like the public vote on ‘Love Island’) on whether 41 new MCZs should be created around the English coastline is underway. Now, on the face of it this may not be as riveting as watching total strangers spooning with the night vision cameras on or waiting with bated breath for a VAR announcement. BUT, the decisions made following the public vote on MCZs will have far reaching consequences around our own ‘love island’.

How so? Well, look. The seas around the English coast are woefully under-protected. A bit like England’s back four leaving young Jordan Pickford to deal with an attack from midfield by Lukaku to Fellaini, on to De Bruyne and finally Hazard. Jord might be a great shot stopper but he’s no miracle worker – and needs help…just like the seas around England.

Substitute those Belgian guys for trawling, dredging, and mooring and imagine Jordan as the sea and you can see the issue here.

So if you’re gripped by the coupling and uncoupling or the relentless singing of ‘It’s coming home, it’s coming home’ whenever Harry Kane has the ball at his feet, then why not hook up with some of the government’s proposed MCZs and show the seas around England some love too.

Football on beach

If your emotions aren’t already rung out like a dirty dishcloth from witnessing a 93rd minute equaliser or Dani Dyer (no, not him, his daughter), thinking Jack’s back with his ex, then please turn your attention to our seas and help protect some of the most precious areas in the oceans around England.

From Albert Field to Camel Estuary, Markham’s Triangle to Queenie Corner and Morte Platform to Wyre-Lune – the names alone should get your interest ‘buzzing’.

Mind you, it’s hard to feel ‘a connection’ to an MCZ. It’s a place in the sea that most of us will certainly never visit. But we need all 41 of these proposed zones to become reality – if they do, 40% of English seas will be protected, and that will have a knock-on effect for all of us.

You see, when it comes to the sea we need it to be healthy because we rely it. When the Love Islanders have gone home and, we hope, footballs come home – the sea will still be there, toiling to stay healthy.

We’ve actually got less time to save our seas than we have to vote for our favourite 2018 Love Island couple. The public consultation that could mean more protection for the seas around England ends on July 20th, Love Island finishes on July 30th. Football will be making its way home until July 15th. We’re in for a mindblowingly tense two weeks - hang on to your hats.

Getting our seas protected is a bit like the Island – the boys and girls there have got a limited time to embark on a whistle stop relationship that will result in a life-long coupling. They need to move fast. Well, we need to move fast on marine protection. Compare it to World Cup footy……….but on a bigger scale. In Russia, if you don’t win it in 90 minutes, you get a bit more time, if you don’t pull it off then, you get penos……..if you lose that …….well it’s da-svidania. If we don’t get these 41 MCZs created this time around - that really is it - goodbye once in a generation opportunity.

The England team are on the brink. If they get through the next three games and come out on top - they will have written their names in history. We can write our names in history too as the generation who saved our seas.

Basking shark Isle of Man Isle of Man Basking shark

But marine protection isn’t as simple to understand as the damage plastic is doing to our oceans for instance. People get pollution. It’s good to see the guys and girls on the island swigging from their refillable water bottles. They’ve uncoupled from single-use plastic. Marine protection is equally as important as plastic pollution - just not as sexy. A bit like a conversation between the recently dumpled Eyall and Jack - one you can’t get your head around and the other you get straight away, even if he does just sell pens.

Here’s the thing - we are intrinsically linked to the oceans whether we live in Birmingham or Burnley, Brixham or Blackpool. If we throw away this last chance to protect more of the seas around England, we will be leaving our marine environment to fend for itself against human activities….and sadly there will only be one winner.

Brighton Pier Brighton Palace Pier

The public have been brilliant in turning the tide on plastic with millions giving up their addiction to single use items. Now we need everyone to hold hands, think positive thoughts and get behind this final push to protect English seas.

So click on the link and look at the map and if Albert Field tickles your Markham’s Triangle, or you’d go to the East of Start Point to hear Selsey Bill and the Hounds – then it’s Foreland to a lasting relationship with Erme Estuary and her Inner Bank.

If you feel a ‘vibe’ with Orford Inshore or Holderness Offshore, or you think Studland Bay and West of Wight-Barfleur are ‘right sorts’, then ‘make your move’.

“Now is not the time to be ‘salty’ with our seas,” says an expert in the sea and stuff at MCS. These sites are the marine equivalent of a ‘peng sort’ - head turners when it comes to wildlife and habitats. Let’s not mug them off.”

They’re coming home, they’re coming home but it can’t just be ‘on paper’.

Take part in the Marine Conservation Zone consultation today. Like a penalty, it’s an opportunity we just can’t afford to miss.

Oh yes – FYI, the language of love:

Pied off - ditched

Grafting – to put in some hard work to get attention

Crack on - beginning a relationship

On paper – fits the exact definition on paper only

Vibe – positive feeling

Peng sorts - handsome/fit

salty - bitter or angry

and:

‘It’s coming home’ – chorus of the 1996 European Championships smash by Baddiel, Skinner and the Lightning Seeds - Three Lions- and now the unofficial chant of English football fans whenever there’s a vague glimmer of footballing glory.