Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall serves up Government warning on marine conservation
TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall said it was “vital” that the Government did more to protect UK seas as he led hundreds of campaigners in a march to Westminster yesterday.
The presenter has urged ministers to increase the number of “marine conservation zones” after more than £8 million was spent on identifying 127 areas where dolphins, seahorses and other rare species most need protection. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has so far managed to set out plans to create 31 sites by the end of this year, while the majority of MCZs have no timetable.
Speaking outside the Houses of Parliament, Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall, whose River Cottage food business is based on the Dorset-Devon border said: “We’re all here today because we believe in the sea. We know it has an incredible power to enhance our lives. There’s a public consultation going on right now over the proposals of 127 new marine reserves around the UK.
"So far we’re a little concerned that the Government are only going to look at 31 of those in the coming year, and at this point they haven’t given us a time frame for the rest.
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“This is the sort of opportunity that may not come again. We might not have such a vital and appropriate timeframe as we’ve got right now to make real changes.
“If we leave it too much later, too much damage will have been done. It will be hard for a lot of the areas to recover.”