The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the leading UK charity that champions our seas, shores and wildlife. As an island nation the health of our seas and coastlines very much reflects the health of our country. Currently UK seas are under enormous pressure – pressure brought on by US. For years we thought the sea could take everything we threw at it and would replenish itself if we took thing s out. But we were wrong. Too many fish have been and are being taken out, too much rubbish is thrown in, and unlike the land – very little is done to protect our coastal waters with its once thriving marine life and bustling habitats.
MCS wants to see greater protection for our marine wildlife and habitats and in 2009 launched our ‘Your Seas Your Voice’ project. This encourages the public to vote for, or against, sites recommended by us or suggest their own. So far we have over 8,000 votes via our website: www.yourseasyourvoice.com
MCS also campaigns for sustainable fisheries. We work closely with industry, government, chefs, consumer and retailers to raise the profile of the fish we should eat against the fish whose stock are depleted and should be allowed to recover. We publish our ‘Pocket Good Fish Guide’ and online seafood guide ‘Fishonline’. MCS also works with the aquaculture industry to ensure the best choices are being made for farmed seafood. MCS is trying to turn the tide on coastal pollution.
Beach litter levels are still far too high and pollution from sewers, farmland and urban streets is a serious concern at almost half of the UK’s bathing beaches. Every year MCS publishes it’s online ‘Good Beach Guide’ which recommends beaches with excellent water quality that are safe for swimmers. We urge beach users to report any pipes they see on beaches pumping out sewage contaminated water via our ‘storm pollution hot-map.’ The MCS Beachwatch project brings together thousands of volunteers to help clean our UK beaches. In recent years the amount of plastic litter on our beaches has risen dramatically. Beachwatch is the most influential fight against marine litter in the UK. You can start helping improve the health of our seas and coasts by joining MCS for just £3 a month. £10 donated to MCS could mean 10 more people choosing fish from sustainable sources and £30 helps clear a local beach of dangerous fishing litter. It doesn’t cost much to help start saving our seas. Guest blog by Marine Conservation Society – www.mcsuk.org