Referendum response

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 24 June 2016

The Marine Conservation Society is hugely disappointed that the UK will be leaving the European Union, as the results of the referendum confirm today (24th June 2016).

The Marine Conservation Society is hugely disappointed that the UK will be leaving the European Union, as the results of the referendum confirm today (24th June 2016). Membership of the European Union has brought substantial benefits for the protection of the marine environment, with the majority of environmental legislation governing our seas emanating from the EU. Being in the EU has, over time, enabled MCS and our supporters to defend the things we love from loss and damage, and lead towards achieving our charitable objectives to protect the marine environment. For example, European Directives for bathing waters and sewage treatment have been instrumental in cleaning up water quality at UK beaches. Prior to this, many UK beaches were impacted by continuous untreated sewage discharges and the UK merited its reputation as “the Dirty Old Man of Europe”. The Common Fisheries Policy has been radically reformed to ensure our fisheries are sustainable by 2020 and the Habitats Directive provides for many of our Marine Protected Areas. We must now work to ensure that the laws which safeguard our seas are upheld in national UK legislation going forward. We will also work to ensure that the UK, via whatever governance structures will now apply, continues to work with our European neighbours since this is so crucial for ensuring our marine ecosystems are recovered, and pollution is managed. Melissa Moore, Head of Policy at the Marine Conservation Society said “Fish, pollution and marine wildlife don’t respect political boundaries. We must continue to work closely with our EU neighbours to restore and replenish our degraded seas and fish stocks. Ø Melissa added :”If the UK wants to continue to be a global leader, then it must implement and develop environmental legislation befitting of an advanced society in the 21st century and not revert to historic levels of overfishing and pollution. We must ensure that EU laws are fully adopted into UK law for bathing water, for habitats and for sustainable fisheries and new legislation is developed where needed, for example on microplastics. Ø

Actions you can take

  1. Write to your MP to 'Save the laws'
  2. Read more about Brexit and our seas

Did you know?…

Plastic has been found in the stomachs of almost all marine species including fish, birds, whales, dolphins, seals and turtles

UK seas and shores are a place for leisure, sport, and a holiday destination for millions annually

MCS first launched the Good Beach Guide in 1987 as a book to highlight the woeful state of the UK’s bathing waters

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