The Ocean Conservation Register – Growing the voice of the ocean in Westminster

SAS has published the first Ocean Conservation Register of its kind, to facilitate dialogue between Parliament and those working in the ocean sector.

The Register outlines key marine conservation issues and the interest of MPs in them based on MPs’ work since the 2017 general election.

It serves as a guide to the 430 MPs who have expressed an interest in these issues, identified through their contributions to debates, support for Early Day Motions and external campaigns, as well as comments in the media.

Never has ocean conservation received such extensive awareness and attention. The “Blue Planet” effect has meant a large proportion of the population is now conscious of the threats and impacts on our ocean and coastlines.

Plastic pollution, water quality, climate change, marine protected areas and fisheries are key issues that must be addressed to protect and enhance our blue spaces. All levels of society have a part to play. From grassroot environmentalists to governments, there are steps every individual and every organisation can take.

Parliament exists to make laws, discuss issues and look at how our taxes are spent to help govern the country. Our elected representatives have a crucial role to play in protecting our environment and leading people towards more environmentally friendly practices.

We have already seen the effectiveness of parliamentary laws in protecting the ocean, for example through the 5p bag charge, which has prevented over nine million single-use plastic bags from entering the environment. But, in the wake of Brexit, now, more than ever, the UK Parliament needs to use its powers to prevent further environmental damage and ensure we improve our natural world for everyone and everything to enjoy.

The Register includes information on government and opposition environmental teams, the various committees established within Parliament to scrutinise decisions on the environment, and the Protect Our Waves APPG. It provides brief synopses of the main conservation concerns followed by alphabetical lists of MPs who have engaged on them. It then concludes with the contact details of each MP listed in the Register.

The Ocean Conservation Register was supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. 

Special thanks goes to Dr Heather Koldewey for writing the foreword to the register and to the Climate Coalition, Blue Marine Foundation and Professor Brendan Godley from University of Exeter for providing insightful introductions to the issues raised. 

To download your copy of the Ocean Conservation Register please click here.