Our seas and oceans are a precious haven for a wonderful variety of life and thousands of people depend upon them for their livelihoods.
However, our oceans are increasingly under threat, including from marine plastic, ocean acidification, overfishing, habitat destruction, and the climate crisis.
In the face of declining marine biodiversity and given the central importance of our oceans in combating the climate crisis, I believe we need to take greater steps to restore our oceans and make them truly sustainable.
I believe we should roll out National Marine Parks across the UK, working with the devolved administrations and local authorities to ensure our most important coastal habitats are properly protected.
We must also strengthen the existing Blue Belt programme and work with our overseas territories to extend and deepen environmental protections in oceans around the world.
I have previously contacted George Eustice, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to call for more action to protect our marine ecosystems. This includes asking for a higher percentage of our oceans to be protected and for the clearance of unexploded ordnance (UXO) to be conducted using a method that does not harm vulnerable marine species.
I have now written to Mr Eustice to raise the need for an Ocean Recovery Strategy and highlighted the specific points that the World Wildlife Fund is calling for, and you can see my letter below.
I can assure you that I will continue to call on the UK Government to take meaningful action on restoring and enhancing UK seas.