As we mark World Ocean Day, under UK leadership 80 countries have now signed up to an international target to protect at least 30% of the world’s ocean by 2030 - helping to deliver healthy and sustainable seas as we work with our global partners to build back greener.
It is vital that we take strong measures to protect our seas, whilst striking a balance in supporting sustainable industries, and as G7 leaders we have the opportunity to lead the way in doing this. That is why the Government has led 80 countries from around the world to support the ‘30by30’ commitment, to conserve or protect at least 30% of the world’s land and at least 30% of the world’s ocean by 2030 – and the Government has also launched plans to increase protections for England’s waters through a pilot scheme to designate marine sites in England as ‘Highly Protected Marine Areas’, which will ban all activities that could have a damaging effect on wildlife or marine habitats.
This follows the independent Benyon Review, which recommended that Highly Protected Marine Areas would have an important role in helping the marine ecosystem recover. The review was commissioned in 2019 to look at how these areas could be introduced, and the Government has today published its response to the review. As well as helping drive marine recovery, the review also highlighted other potential benefits of the sites, including increased tourism.
Defra and the Ocean Conservation Trust have published the results of the largest ever survey in England and Wales on public attitudes to our oceans. The survey finds that 85% of people consider marine protection personally important to them. Of those who had visited our coastlines last year, 80% said it was good for their physical health and 84% said it was good for their mental health.
We are global leaders in marine protections and as G7 leaders, the Government is working with our international friends and partners to develop future protections and deliver healthy and sustainable seas as we build back greener.
For more information on the Government’s marine commitments to mark World Ocean Day, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-sets-out-marine-commitments-to-mark-world-ocean-day.