© Mark Thomas
Our North Sea is amazing. If we change the way we do things we can help it to recover and ensure that our marine wildlife thrives so that future generations can enjoy our marine heritage. Please be part of it.
Most of us instinctively recognise how important the North Sea is for this region; for tourism; for food; for local recreation and increasingly, for energy. But we still know so little about it. Perhaps it’s to do with its sheer vastness, the mobility of many species and the fact that most of its treasures are totally hidden.
Worryingly, recent research from Natural England suggests that:
44% of the population think that the undersea is utterly, generally, or mostly barren in their region with Northerners describing ‘their’ sea as dirtier and colder than the rest of the country.
That’s quite a barrier to overcome in communicating about marine wildlife!
No wonder people feel apathetic or unmoved. Yes, there are issues with pollution, sustainable fishing, climate change impacts and invasive species, but the truth is that beneath the waves lies a magical marine kingdom just as colourful, fascinating and beautiful as that found anywhere else in the world!
Inspiring people is surely the way to encourage them to care?
And we have a great opportunity to do just that. The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is the main funder of our three-year Living Seas programme to help us create awareness of how special our local marine landscape is. The project aims to educate, inspire and involve communities in protecting our seas by changing attitudes and behaviours, encouraging us all to make a difference where we can.
Develop a series of educational activities and events to widen awareness of the richness of the North Sea marine environment amongst users and ways we can minimise our impact.
Work with volunteers to undertake survey work (e.g. intertidal environments, marine mammal recording), beach clean-ups and campaigning.
Campaign for a proper network of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) to ensure that the extraordinary diversity of species and habitats in our seas gets real protection.
Create the next generation of marine conservationists by supporting research, student work placements and training a network of people to be able to identify, manage and monitor wildlife.
Forge relationships and share knowledge with partners such as local fishing communities, Universities, Northumberland Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority, Berwickshire and North Northumberland European Marine Site, Marinelife, and other Wildlife Trusts.
Can you help take action for nature in your local area?
You can help support our Living Seas project by giving a donation It’s a way of investing in the future and valuing nature - whatever you can give will make a difference. And there are plenty of other opportunities to get involved such as beach cleaning, surveying, becoming a local ‘Sea Champion’ and supporting sustainable seafood - keep up-to-date by vistiing our Living Seas project pages.