Vulnerable marine life in Welsh waters is at risk from lack of funding and political will in the Welsh government. This is the conclusion of a new report from the Welsh Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee.
ClientEarth lawyer Alice Puritz said: “This is yet more proof that Welsh seas are suffering due to lack of investment and political will. Designating part of the ocean a Marine Protected Area means nothing if the plants and animals living there are not protected from damaging fishing, pollution and other threats.
“The Welsh government must use this report as a shot in the arm to stop boasting about seas which are protected only in name, and start committing the resources really needed to properly defend marine life around its shores.”
The report shows the committee agrees with ClientEarth that creating protected areas in Welsh waters has not necessarily led to protection for the natural world. It calls on the Welsh government to urgently come up with a plan to properly manage these sensitive seas, so they are protected in more than name and the plants and animals living there have a chance to thrive.
Alice added: “The government must also make sure European Marine Protected Areas are not left vulnerable after Brexit. We call on ministers to respond to this report with urgent proposals to protect vulnerable marine life in its care.”
Read the report by the Welsh Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee: Turning the tide? Report of the inquiry into the Welsh Government’s approach to Marine Protected Area management