Latest blog posts…
Blog WWF and MCS join forces for Brighton beach clean
10 Oct 2018
Recently, the Marine Conservation Society came together with environmental charity WWF UK for a massive beach clean in sunny Brighton. I was one of over 200 people who helped to clean up Brighton beach as part of WWF’s all-staff away day.
Blog Is the marine environment a political priority?
5 Oct 2018
The party conference season is over for another year and MPs return to Parliament next week. Over the last month each of the major political parties headed to cities around the UK where they were joined by an eclectic mix of party members, corporate lobbyists, CEOs, policy & public affairs leads from charities, NGOs and other groups with an interest in influencing policy.
Blog Do we really need to keep sucking?
4 Oct 2018
As paper straws begin to be manufactured in the UK for the first time in decades, MCS pollution experts say replacing one single-use item with another is not the answer. Unless you have very young children or there’s a medical need – it’s best to sip not suck.
Blog Flushed without success
21 Sep 2018
A national survey has discovered that the flushing habits of the UK public are nothing short of astounding – and not in a good way. At least one in four people in the UK pour cooking oil down the drain, whilst, according to UKDN Waterflow, three percent questioned said they’d given their hamster a burial at sea by sending them round the u-bend.
Blog The latte levy: fighting single-use plastic cups
11 Sep 2018
You may have heard the term latte levy and wondered what it means- we explain what it’s all about and why it’s such a hot topic.
Blog MCS response to Scotland’s Programme for Government 2018-19
6 Sep 2018
With Scotland home to 61% of UK seas, and marine conservation and fisheries being devolved matters, plans by the Scottish Government have the potential to contribute greatly to UK marine conservation. Here, MCS Head of Conservation Scotland Calum Duncan welcomes commitments in the Scottish Government’s latest Programme for Government 2018-19…
Blog What will you find on the beach?
24 Aug 2018
“What do you think this is?”, is the question I get asked a lot at beach cleans, as the amazing beachwatch volunteers take on the role of detectives, trying to identify the origins of the fragments of litter that they have found in the sand and rocks.
Blog #Binit4beaches this August Bank Holiday – and beyond
22 Aug 2018
As one of the busiest days in the beach visit calendar approaches, how can we all make sure that this August Bank Holiday is a litter-free one for the UK’s coastline? Planning a single-use plastic free visit to the beach is a start.
Blog Going to a festival? Go plastic-free
10 Aug 2018
There are hundreds of festivals during the summer across the UK. From the big guns like Creamfields and Reading and Leeds to more niche events like Lakefest and Green Man. This year many are trying to reduce their plastic footprint by banning straws or providing re-usable cups. You can do your bit too by planning ahead. We’ve got some tips.
Blog Tales from the fishy counter
3 Aug 2018
Do you know what you’re buying at the fishmonger? Do you ask the right questions and, more importantly, do you get the right answers? A trip to buy a cod loin or snap up some salmon is a minefield – on both sides of the counter
Blog The Plastic Challenge – why is it not getting easier?
2 Aug 2018
Two days ago, the MCS Head of Conservation in Wales finished her fifth Plastic Challenge. Gill Bell hasn’t bought anything wrapped in plastic for a whole month. After five years of being a ‘Challenger’ she was hoping her choices would have been wider and being plastic free much easier. They weren’t and it wasn’t.
Blog Industry is trying to stop Deposit Refund Schemes
1 Aug 2018
There’s a concerted attempt from some elements of the plastics and packaging industries to derail a Deposit Return Scheme in the UK before the first bottle has been returned or the first deposit handed back. But do the arguments hold water or are they just desperate attempts to ensure the industry continues to sit pretty in a sea of single-use plastic?
Blog Balmy weather, barmy headlines
31 Jul 2018
The silly season for stories in the media shouldn’t mean reports can be misleading, as news items on jellyfish bloom.
Blog Pembrokeshire – a Welsh coastal gem
27 Jul 2018
It’s the ‘Year of the Sea’ in Wales. The principality has over 870 miles of accessible coastline, dramatic cliffs dropping sharply into boiling seas and pretty harbours where the water gently laps. A true jewel in this Welsh crown is the county of Pembrokeshire in West Wales. There’s much to see, but you can do it in a day - if you’re quick.
Blog Abel & Cole's catch of the month
27 Jul 2018
Abel & Cole’s fish and seafood buyer Abigail Allen shares her experience using our guidance in sourcing more seasonal and sustainable seafood, putting a spotlight on hake as their catch of the month.
Blog Give our seas a hug in the #summeroflove
4 Jul 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.
Blog Beach clean with Scottish bloggers
27 Jun 2018
When Scottish content creators clean a beach, you can be sure you’ll hear about it. Bloggers, vloggers and social media masters do a beach clean to raise awareness about Scotland’s marine environment and plastic pollution.
Blog Are prawns a good environmental choice?
12 Jun 2018
We Brits love our prawns – in fact, we love them so much they make into our top five seafood choices alongside salmon, cod, haddock and tuna. However, we can’t ignore the alarming environmental messages we hear about them.
Blog How to make plastic-free life last
8 Jun 2018
A few summers ago, on my first Plastic Challenge trip to the supermarket, the great wall of plastic, quilting the supermarket shelves, knocked me back. Plastic – thick or thin - disguised and impounded my usual products, severely limiting my choice for the Plastic Challenge month ahead.
Blog Coasting it, one man's walk along 1600 miles of British coast
11 May 2018
Joshua Pedley, a 23-year old Waitrose partner is walking 1600 miles along the west coast of England and Wales from March to September 2018 to raise funds for the Marine Conservation Society.
Blog A chef’s experience using the Good Fish Guide to make sustainable seafood choices
4 May 2018
Chef Caroline Rye, The Urban Fishwife, tells us her experiences using MCS’ Good Fish Guide to make informed choices when buying fish.
Blog Deposit returns - it's a new dawn for recycling in England
28 Mar 2018
After years of campaigning, there is to be a deposit refund system (DRS) for England. This is fantastic news, but of course is only the first step in actually getting a system in place!
Blog The challenges of fisheries management
21 Mar 2018
We are currently going through the most significant legislative reform of the past 40 years; exactly how this will impact fisheries is unclear. There may be much to gain but also… so much to lose
Blog Our Scotland Conservation Officer scoops award on International Women's Day
14 Mar 2018
MCS’ Catherine Gemmell has been recognised at the inaugural No.1 Magazine Amazing Woman Awards in Glasgow. The awards were a celebration of the fantastic strength and depth in talent, which women across Scotland possess from business to sport. Catherine received an Award of Special Thanks for her work on inspiring people across Scotland to care for their marine environment. Read her blog.
Blog Collaborating to save the corals
14 Feb 2018
MCS has been attending a meeting to discuss the future resilience of coral reefs in this, the third ‘International Year of the Reef’. MCS President, HRH Prince Charles, addressed the invited audience, saying the stakes are high and time short when it comes to coral reefs. Prince Harry, who has an interest in the issue, was also in attendance. MCS’ Dr Jean-Luc Solandt was there – read his blog.
Blog Stand by studio – we're beach cleaning on live radio
6 Feb 2018
We’ve been beach cleaning live on the radio. Lizzie Prior, the MCS Beach and River Clean Project Officer, headed to the north west where she had a litter picker in one hand and mic in the other as she joined the Rossall Beach Buddies cleaning up Cleveleys.
Blog A debate for science or emotion - or is it just too soon to legalise the widespread use of electricity to catch fish?
26 Jan 2018
The use of electricity in the marine environment is currently banned under EU technical regulations, but a series of derogations for scientific and data collection purposes have made it possible for (primarily) the Dutch to roll out the electric pulse fishing method on a large scale over the last decade.
Blog What the 25 year plan says about our seas
15 Jan 2018
Much of the coverage of the Government’s 25 year plan to improve the natural environment has concentrated on how plastic pollution will be reduced. But the report also contained plans for fisheries, education and marine protection. Are those plans more ambitious or are they as vague as the plastic promises? MCS staff have been taking a look.
Blog Village bans plastic straws after school campaign
21 Dec 2017
It was fantastic to hear from our Cool Seas Explorers at Sunnyside Primary that their amazing #NaeStrawAtAw campaign has succeeded in making Ullapool potentially the first plastic straw free village in the UK!
Blog MCS co hosts #CleanBeachesScotland Parliamentary Event in Holyrood
15 Dec 2017
MCS co-hosted nine MSPs and 50 guests at an event where over twenty organisations celebrated what Scotland has achieved so far in tackling marine litter and took a looking forward to the next steps we can all take, from individuals and communities to industry and government to #STOPthePlasticTide.
Blog MCS at the European Coral Reef Symposium - but will younger delegates have seen what I've seen? asks Dr Jean-Luc Solandt (aged 48)
15 Dec 2017
We’ve loved our coral reefs ‘to death’ says MCS reef expert Dr Jean-Luc Solandt, as he reflects on his coral journey from naïve manchild to withered old cynic.
Blog Our Sunday nights may never be the same – so now it's time to spread the Blue Planet II message 24/7
11 Dec 2017
When the closing credits of Blue Planet II rolled, if it hadn’t been so cold I’d have opened my window listened to the collective wailing and gnashing of teeth from all corners of the country, nay the globe - streaming the programme slowed down the Chinese interweb! - as one of the most memorable pieces of television came to an end.
Blog Anglesey beachcleaning and our new GBBC coordinator
1 Nov 2017
This year the Great British Beach Clean (GBBC) is coordinated by our Beach and River Clean Project Officer, Lizzie Prior. Lizzie shares her beach-cleaning experience, provides her insight into the timing of GBBC and the importance of the litter data collected at Anglesey.
Blog Blue Planet 2 has surfaced!
29 Oct 2017
So, we’ve all taken a collective deep breath, and episode one of the BBC Blue Planet 2 series has come to the surface. After 6,000 hours of filming underwater, and 1,500 days on location in waters of at least 37 different countries, expectations have been running high. All BBC channels have been building up to the series launch. Radiohead contributed to the soundtrack. How much bigger could a nature series be? Does the series deliver what it has promised?
Blog Reef Check Maldives – why the concern from 'outsiders'?
6 Oct 2017
Dr Jean-Luc Solandt, expedition scientist for Biosphere Expeditions Maldives, Reef Check Co-ordionator for the Maldives and MCS Marine Protected Areas Specialist explains why Reef Check Maldives is so important for the country.
Blog Getting seaweed savvy with the Big Seaweed Search
8 Sep 2017
Our South West Volunteer Manager Jules Agate has been seeing seaweeds in a new light with the Big Seaweed Search (BSS). Read on to find out all about her macro algae adventures!
Blog Choosing sustainable seafood
6 Sep 2017
with Mike King
Do you love eating seafood but aren’t sure if what you’re eating is sustainable…
We asked chef Mike King, one of Compass Group UK & Ireland’s expert culinary team, for his top tips on how to choose the best seafood.
Blog We have got the bottle!
5 Sep 2017
Deposit return system on the way for Scotland
Buoyed by today’s announcement in Scottish Parliament, MCS Scotland Conservation Officer Catherine Gemmell describes what it has been like on the campaign trail for a deposit return system, and her thoughts on what needs to happen now for it to be a success.
Blog The Beluga II Expediton comes to a close
27 Jun 2017
By: Fiona Nicholls, Greenpeace campaigner
Throughout May and June, Greenpeace’s ship the Beluga II set out on a two-month scientific voyage around Scotland’s coastlines, investigating the impact of ocean plastic pollution on some of the UK’s most beautiful landscapes and iconic wildlife.
Blog Choose Sustainable Seasonal Seafood on World Ocean's Day
8 Jun 2017
Today it’s World Oceans Day and around the world people are celebrating the ocean. We love the sea for so many reasons, many people rely on it for jobs, for fun, to store carbon, for food and much more. But sometimes we forget that the wild caught fish we eat are actually creatures from wild populations that need careful management if we are all to keep enjoying them. 90% of global fish stocks are either fully or overfished!
Blog MCS taking to the waves with Greenpeace
17 May 2017
Tonight will mark the official launch of the two-month Greenpeace expedition around Scotland’s shores highlighting the issue of marine litter and some of the impacts it’s having on Scotland’s incredible biodiversity.
Blog Our ratings on haddock in the North Sea, West of Scotland and Skagerrak explained
23 Mar 2017
Fisheries management has actually been improving a lot over the last decade, and the UK industry has helped a huge amount by developing new ways to fish more selectively and record more data. The Scottish industry has played a leading role in such work.
Blog What does the sea mean to you?
23 Mar 2017
“It defines who I am, who I have been and who I will be.” What does the sea mean to you? What do you value about it? If it disappeared tomorrow, what would you miss?
Blog Where do turtles have star-bellies and nest in the day? The Seychelles!
20 Feb 2017
Having spent the last seven years working for the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) in the UK, I couldn’t pass up the chance to meet up with MCS Seychelles (MCSS) while visiting these beautiful islands.
Blog Sky News joins MCS to kick-start campaign
25 Jan 2017
Tonight, (8pm, 25th January 2017) Sky News will be showing a documentary called ‘A Plastic Tide’ highlighting the issue of plastic pollution and highlighting what we can all do to stop this incoming plastic tide - and even turn it around. This is just the start of their new and exciting campaign “Ocean Rescue”. Our Senior Pollution Policy Officer Sue Kinsey attended these first few meetings and they were very keen on our amazing Beachwatch citizen science project.
Blog The travelling marine biologist - back in action in 2017!
18 Jan 2017
Continuing my quest to help protect Australian marine life, I have been moving around New South Wales and Queensland attending and running events and sharing expertise with fellow colleagues. I kicked off the new year with a beach clean organised by Sea Shepard at Sirius Cove in Sydney. In just a couple of hours, 4000 items of litter were collected weighing 91 kg. Many of their practices and information given to volunteers was the same as the UK, as you would expect.
Blog The travelling marine biologist down under
27 Dec 2016
For the past couple of weeks, I have been lucky enough to spend time working with the Australian Marine Conservation Society. During my time here, based on the beautiful Northern beaches in Sydney, I have been working with one of the charity’s marine campaigners to build support for a marine park in Sydney - the Hawkesbury Shelf Bioregion.
Blog The Manchester giant grouper
21 Dec 2016
The Manchester giant grouper: putting Manchester on the map for the wrong reasons. Last week we were greeted with the regrettable news that a grouper, “the third largest fish of its kind on record”, an animal that lived out its life around the tropical coral reefs of the Indian Ocean, was flown to a fish market in Manchester, UK. What can be learned - or gained - from its fate?
Blog How fisheries are run in the Pacific Northeast - part 2
22 Nov 2016
Alaskan Seafood: a visit to learn how fisheries are run in the Pacific northeast.
Blog How fisheries are run in the Pacific Northeast - part 1
9 Nov 2016
Alaskan Seafood: a visit to learn how fisheries are run in the Pacific northeast. In July this year, I took an amazing opportunity to learn more about the Alaskan seafood industry and travelled with a team of UK and European commercial seafood representatives to visit some key fishing ports in the region.
Blog Future aquaculture challenges and innovation
22 Sep 2016
The GOAL aquaculture conference here in China has just finished for this year. It has once again been an opportunity to learn and share ideas and information with a wide range of people from every sector and corner of the globe.
Blog GOAL Aquaculture conference starts
20 Sep 2016
The annual Global Aquaculture Alliance GOAL conference opened today with a fantastic opening traditional drumming ceremony.
Blog Experiences from China
18 Sep 2016
I am very fortunate to find myself in Guangzhou, South East China, attending the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) GOAL conference. As part of GAA Standards Oversight Committee we are invited to attend these annual conferences as part of our role.
Blog We need to protect, cherish and love our seas
6 Sep 2016
NGOs are oft-criticised for crying wolf. Yet time-scales of people’s lives are extremely short relative to the geological change that occurs on the planet. Adaptation and evolution are extremely slow, clumsy processes that take time to catch up with environmental conditions. So, if those conditions change abruptly (over decades, centuries), ecosystems generally ‘change state’. And the shift in the condition of the planet is only apparent to current generations, with each successive generation forgetting the ecosystem of their parents.