Archive for November, 2009

Your Seas Your Voice

Monday, November 30th, 2009

MCS AGM report. The National AGM came north to Preston this year, just a few days after the long-awaited completion of the Marine and Coastal Access Act. This finally opens up the possibility of statutory marine reserves around the UK, so there was considerable satisaction, though there is still a long way to go to implement effective protection for habitats and species ‘on the ground’.

Something that came from the meeting quite strongly was the feeling that we need to broaden our constituency. We need to be able to show that the state of the seas around us is of concern to more than just a few eco-warriors!

Recently in-store polling work by the Co-Op has shown that you do want to look after marine wildlife. Clearly the state of our seas effects everyone living in an island nation! This collaboration with the Co-Op is now coming together in the ‘Your Sear Your Voice’ campaign. This gives you the opportunity to support the establishment of marine reserves in your area. (See below for further details).

AGM was on 17th November 2009 at the Foster Building, UCLAN.

Skating on the edge of extinction

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

The ‘common’ skate has been in serious trouble for some time, due entirely to over fishing. In 2008 ICES recomended that there should be no more target fishing, and that by-catch needed to be limited. Unfortunately, it now looks as though what fisheries statistics were labelling as the ‘common’ skate is in fact two species, with distinct morphologies and life histories. This change in classification means that we have two endangered species. One of these species (Dipturus cf. intermedia) is now thought to be in immediate risk of extinction.

It is sad that we know so little about our seas, and yet do them so much damage.

Ref: Igl├ęsias S.P., Toulhoat L., Sellos D.Y. Taxonomic confusion and market mislabelling of threatened skates: important consequences for their conservation status. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, (in press) via Science Daily

More information: UK biodiversity Action Plan on the Common Skate

Is there something you can do? – The ‘Your Seas Your Voice’ programme, sponsored by the Co-Op, allows you to lend support to proposed marine reserves around the UK coasts. Reserves with strong no-take policies are the only way that many species, like the common skate, will survive. Showing you care about the seas around us is the only way we will get the political action necessary to offer them this protection:

Your Seas Your Voice

Walney Walk Photos

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

We had an interesting walk today around Walney, with some great weather and light. Thanks Gordon for organising.

I couldn’t help but notice how much plastic rubbish there was though, hardly a meter without any. I didn’t think I was that old, but I can remember as a child when on a trip to the beach you didn’t see tons of plastic. In fact, like most children, I was a real beachcomber, picking up shells, dead crabs, rocks, bits of wood etc. I would have noticed.

Anyway, for anyone interested, I’ve put some pictures on my web pages here.