0.000001 – one hundred thousandth – is a number so small that to most people it seems like nothing at all. Yet four and a half years since the Marine Act of 2009 came into force – legislation that was heralded as the saviour of UK seas – this is the sum total of UK waters that is protected from all fishing for the purpose of nature conservation.
The Marine Act is that rare thing: a law supported by all political parties. The sea is dear to so many of us it transcends ideology. In the run up to the law’s enactment, there was widespread recognition that the seas were in trouble. Fisheries were in decline, once rich habitats had been stripped by two centuries of destructive fishing, and formerly abundant species had been brought to the verge of disappearance...Read More