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Make a pledge to love your sea

Tuesday 25th July 2017

c. Paul Naylor

The wildlife of the Irish Sea is in urgent need of our protection – and everyone can do their bit. That is the message that must hit home during National Marine Week.

The importance of the sea to each and every person living in the north west will be emphasised by The Wildlife Trusts, as they hope to inspire people to make a pledge to the sea as part of their ‘The Sea and Me’ campaign throughout this year’s National Marine Week.

National Marine Week runs from Saturday July 29 to Sunday August 13 – it’s actually a fortnight – and is a celebration of our amazing sea life right around our coast.

‘The Sea and Me’ campaign asks people to think about how their lives have been interwoven with the sea and its inhabitants.

They will also be celebrating National Marine Week, with Cheshire Wildlife Trust, with a Red Rocks Discovery Day held at the Red Rocks Marsh Nature Reserve, Hoylake on 29th July and a Hilbre Island Walk, starting from West Kirby, on 31st July.

North West Wildlife Trust’s Senior Marine Conservation Officer, Emily Baxter said: “Whether people have worked in the fishing industry, tourism, coastal conservation or spent holidays at West Kirby, Hoylake or Leasowe, we are hoping to inspire and remind people of their connection with the Irish Sea and fond memories of time spent on the coast.

“And our Irish Sea is home to some amazing wildlife! Whales, dolphins and turtles visit us every year to feed. There is a vast variety of waders and seabirds in Liverpool Bay and the Dee and Mersey Estuaries as well as seals that haul out on the sandbank off Hilbre Island.”

There are only four Marine Conservation Zones in the Irish Sea so there are still huge areas of the seas around England where there is no protection at all. These 'gaps' need filling to create a network of Marine Conservation Zones that cover enough of our seas to provide effective protection for wildlife.

Emily added: “This wildlife if at risk unless we have a network of protected areas around the coast of the UK. We have managed to designate a number of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in the Irish Sea but we need more to ensure there is connectivity between areas for important species.”

The government has committed to creating more Marine Conservation Zones, with public consultation anticipated in spring 2018. The North West Wildlife Trusts believe that a minimum of a further seven Marine Conservation Zones are needed to complete the network in English waters. This includes mysterious deep muddy sites situated further offshore.

The North West Wildlife Trusts will be putting pressure on the government to create more Marine Conservation Zones to ensure the health of the Irish Sea continues to improve, making it an even better place for wildlife.

Emily said: “We want people to get involved and become even more passionate about their own bit of the sea. By becoming a member of the Wildlife Trust or a Friend of a Marine Conservation Zone, you will be supporting the work we are doing whether it be lobbying Government, restoring habitats or getting children interested in the wildlife that lives in the Irish Sea.”

‘The Sea and Me’ challenge asks everyone to make a pledge for the sea, for example, to say no to single use plastics like cups, bags and straws which can end up in the oceans. Show your support by tweeting a pledge @LivingSeasNW

For more information on the campaign and the events visit www.irishsea.org