Marine species in danger as protection law delayed

Marine habitats being destroyed as Government protection law is delayed

RARE SPECIES OF marine life such as the sea horse are dying out because the Government has delayed a marine Bill, say conservationists.

Environmental groups say marine habitats are being destroyed by industry and tourism and are demanding that legislation be enforced to save them.

Conservationists are angry because although the Government is obliged under a convention signed at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, to establish protected marine areas by 2010, it has admitted that this will not happen until at least 2020.

John Edwards of the Wildlife trusts said: ‘This Government doesn’t seem to see it as a priority at all. It is a matter of ‘when convenient’ rather than a job that needs doing.’

The trusts have been fighting campaigns for 15 years for better legal protection of the sunset corals of Lyme Bay in Dorset, which have been killed off because of scallop dredgers.

The environmental group WWF will publish a report today entitled Can We Have the Bill Please? which will warn that without Government legislation, marine habitats are being destroyed by fishing and water-based recreation.

Jan Brown of WWF said: ‘Out seas have been in decline for some time and it is imperative that the Government addresses the urgency of the situation.’

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