Henry Smith MP has called upon the UK Government to continue being a world leader in protecting our oceans.
Through advancements in satellite technology and developments in international law, it is now possible to monitor and protect vast areas of ocean with ever greater effectiveness and lower cost.
The UK Government is leading the world in this work, having stated its intention to create a “Blue Belt” of marine protection around a number of the UK Overseas Territories.
The UK has already protected a 320,000 square mile area in the Pacific, around the Pitcairn Islands. This is one of the largest marine reserves in the world, more than three times the size of the UK.
“We’re incredibly lucky in the UK to be the stewards of some of the most pristine places left in the global ocean, thanks to our Overseas Territories.
“I’m delighted to support this campaign to protect these special places, and call on the Government to designate the South Sandwich Islands as a marine reserve as soon as possible.
“At more than 193,000 square miles the South Sandwich Islands reserve will be twice the size of the UK and will protect one of the last great wild places left on Earth.”
The Crawley MP hopes that this will include the announcement this month of the largest marine reserve in the Atlantic, around the South Sandwich Islands near the Antarctic, home to a huge array of whales, fish, birds, seals and over 10 per cent of the world’s penguins.