Thursday, 28 February 2013

A celebration of the Great British seaside!

Wild Waters Week is packed full of special talks and events at Portsmouth Aquarium to celebrate the fantastic marine life we have here in Britain, and to encourage people of all ages to get more involved in the wildlife on our doorstep.

The week kicked off with the Wild Waters beach clean along Southsea Beach, supported by Sea Champions Mark and Lowri, which had over 50 people taking part!

There were some award winning weird finds amongst the litter collected - prizes were given to those that found the head of a golf club, an (empty!) handbag and a knee-high red Barbie boot!

Following the clean-up, Sea Champions looked after an MCS stand at the aquarium giving them a platform to discuss the issue of marine litter and the value of Marine Conservation Zones. They also ran a fun quiz for kids all about litter.

A beach clean-up supported by Sea Champions, marked the beginning of Wild Waters Week at Portsmouth Aquarium.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A sunny day on the Solent

MCS Sea Champion Graham Smith coordinates Lee-on-the-Solent Litteraction – an informal group which takes direct action to make their community free of rubbish. The group not only complete quarterly beach cleans and surveys as part of our Beachwatch Programme, they also clean up the beach every month throughout the year. Since the group started on their mission in September 2010, they have removed an astounding 540 bags of litter!

If you’d like to help Graham at his monthly beach cleans, visit for upcoming events, or, why not become a Beachwatch Organiser yourself and coordinate beach cleans in your area?

Sea Champion Graham Smith and volunteers on this month's beach clean



Tuesday, 26 February 2013

March for marine protection a huge success

Almost 2,000 join MCS, BSAC, Sea Life and Fish Fight on the Westminster rally - thank you Sea Champions!

There was a fantastic turn out for the MCS-organised march on Westminster on the 25th February, to highlight to politicians just how passionate people are about our seas and how angry they feel about the Government’s clear lack of ambition when it comes to protecting our waters. MCS with friends from BSAC, Sea Life and Fish Fight plus almost 2,000 supporters of MCZs turned Westminster Bridge and Old Palace Yard a sea of colour.

The day kicked off with a couple of ribs full of divers in scuba gear circling the Thames outside Parliament. The main event was a 2,000 strong march over Westminster Bridge, led by MCS supporter and Fish Fight campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, ending in a rally at Old Palace Yard.

It was big, colourful and could not have been better supported! People dressed as lobsters, a skate and a cod. Umbrellas turned into jellyfish, fish on sticks, a life size turtle, banners, flags and at least 500 127 emblazoned t-shirts stretched over winter woollies on one of the coldest days of the year. It was a real spectacle!

With rousing speeches from Hugh, MCS chairman, Martin Spray and BSAC’s Tony Marshall, the event attracted plenty of media interest taking the issue to a really wide audience.

If you joined us on the day then thank you so much for coming, and special thanks to those Sea Champions who helped hand out flags and banners.

If you weren’t able to be there, then please take a moment to get involved.

We need your support, so please act now.

MCZs in English seas are facing opposition from some sectors of industry - MCS and its supporters must work together to counter that.

We need to redress the balance and make it clear that MCZs could bring benefits both to the environment and the economy.

It’s simple – just send comments on Defra's consultation to them today.

The Government’s latest consultation on MCZs closes on 31st March. If you are a scientist, diver, sea angler, surfer, fisher or simply someone with a local knowledge of the sea who’d like to support individual sites by contributing some information, you can do so on our website with its easy to use map and response form.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Fishy Fun at Maryport

Sea Champion Kay Foster has been spreading the MCS message to save our seas, shores and wildlife and came up with a fun fishing game for kids. Thanks Kay!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Plastic challenge - 40 days and 40 nights

Sea Champion gives up plastic for Lent

To raise awareness about plastic waste in our oceans, Sea Champion Emily Smith is giving up plastic for Lent.

"I want to investigate how easily a consumer can live without plastic, what items we can replace and what are the benefits of doing so. This will be a real challenge - I’m going to have to dramatically change my lifestyle to avoid pre-made meals, last minute supermarket shops and eating and drinking on the go" says Emily.

Follow Emily's blog which is tracking her daily experience.

What are you giving up for Lent?


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Historic vote for radical reform of Common Fisheries Policy

Together we made history!

Today, an overwhelming majority of MEPs just agreed to end overfishing, with 502 - 137 votes in favour for the restoration of fish stocks by 2020.

Debbie Crockard, MCS Fisheries Policy Officer, who attended the Plenary vote said:

“The overwhelming support shown by the Parliament for radical reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) sends a clear message. We hope that the Council will look to match this ambition, and deliver a reformed CFP that delivers a sustainable and prosperous future for not only our fish stocks, but the fishermen and communities who rely on them.”
A huge thank you to all Sea Champions who to took part in the Paint-a-Fish campaign - all over the UK, Sea Champions have been encouraging all ages to "Paint-a-Fish" in schools, at events and on the street, even from the comfort of their own homes via social media, adding to an urgent message being sent to Europe’s key decision makers.

Together, we all helped win some of today's votes, giving the Parliament a massive mandate for change in its negotiations with the European Council to agree the final reforms that can save our oceans.

Over 180,000 people sent messages to MEPs before the vote took place, and Sea Champions sure helped contribute to this massive figure.

Read more about the Common Fisheries Policy Reform here.

Paint-a-Fish in action at the Looe Monkey Festival

Monday, 4 February 2013

Let's show Government how much we care about English seas

Please help us keep up the pressure!

Our campaign for 127 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in English seas is now in full swing, after the Government launched their public consultation late last year. Shamefully, the Government is only consulting on 31 MCZs, disregarding scientific advice that a minimum of 127 are needed to help protect our oceans for years to come.

We need Sea Champions to help us keep up the pressure on Government. Let's show them how much we care about English seas by taking the following actions:
  1. Share our video on Facebook and Twitter:  
  2. Take part in the consultation: It's easy to send an automated response.
  3. Join our Westminster rally: On 25th February, the Marine Conservation Society in association with Sea Life will lead hundreds of friends and supporters in a big loud colourful carnival style procession from the London Aquarium to the Palace of Westminster in support of 127 Marine Conservation Zones for English seas.

    Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and the team behind Channel 4’s hugely successful ‘Fish Fight’ series are backing the rally for their new TV show, and with YOUR help this is our chance to deliver the thousands of pledges we’ve collected in support of 127 Marine Conservation Zones for English seas to the Government.

    We’ll have divers in full scuba kit, performers dressed as giant sea creatures, kids in Ocean Super Hero costumes, banners, placards, flags and streamers - a fun day out with a serious message - ‘Now is the time the save our seas’.

    Click here for more information about why we need 127 Marine Conservation Zones to save England’s seas.

    Please join us on the 25th February! You can register to take part in the rally here.