The UK Links (Wildlife and Countryside Link, Wales Environment Link, Northern Ireland Environment Link and Scottish Environment LINK) have submitted a joint response to the UK Marine Strategy part one consultation.
Our headline points are:
● UK Seas are in a poor state, with only 4 out of 15 indicators meeting Good Environmental
Status (GES), according to this assessment.
● The ambition of targets, baselines and actions in the Marine Strategy is weak, and there are
no deadlines attached to operational targets. This does not align with the shared ambition of
clean, healthy, biologically diverse seas and oceans.
● There has been a lack of progress since 2012 with no prospect of meeting the 2020 target of
GES for most indicators.
● We do not agree with a number of the assessments of status (i.e. for pelagic habitats,
commercial fisheries, contaminants, contaminants in seafood and underwater noise).
● There is a lack of data to enable an effective assessment to be reached in a number of cases
(e.g. on seals and contaminants, and there is a general lack of data for the Celtic Seas Region).
In these cases the assessment is often termed as ‘uncertain’ when more accurately it should
be termed ‘unknown’.
● For some indicators (e.g. commercial fish) the assessment is based on out-of-date data, which
gives an inaccurate picture of current status.