Main parties pledge creation of largest marine protection zones in the world

The Independant newspaper reported that The creation of the largest marine protection area in the world will be pledged by the Labour Party as part of its “green plan” to be carried out under an Ed Miliband government.

Labour will create new ocean reserves around several British overseas territories, including the Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific. It will also pledge more marine conservation zones around the UK, claiming that the coalition has not done enough to protect UK seas.

The pledges were applauded by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the cook and sustainable fish campaigner, who described it as a “strong commitment to marine conservation”. Yet the Conservative manifesto last week contained similar pledges to protect marine wildlife and the coalition had already given the green light, in last month’s Budget, to the marine reserve around Pitcairn, which will cover 834,000 sq km of ocean.

The Conservative manifesto promised to create a “blue belt” of protected areas around the 14 UK Overseas Territories, which include Pitcairn and Ascension, subject to “local support and environmental need”, as well as a pledge to complete a network of Marine Protected Areas in British waters.

Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Fish Fight campaign to protect UK seas was supported by 875,000 signatures.

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