Celtic Sea could be blueprint for sustainable oceans



Posted on 14 November 2012  | 
The Celtic Sea
© WWFEnlarge
Sustainable marine industries, prosperous coastal communities and a healthy marine environment for generations to come can be achieved for the Celtic Sea and other marine areas if new recommendations are followed, says a new report from the PISCES Group. The report, co-funded by the European Commission and WWF-UK and is the result of a unique three year collaboration between the marine sectors of England, Wales, France and Ireland that share the Celtic Sea.  
 
The Celtic Sea has long been used as an example of the problems faced in today’s busy oceans with marine industries jostling for space and resources, declining fish stocks and increasing degredation of marine habitats and species. But the PISCES report is essentially a ‘how to guide’ to creating a  working, sustainable future for the Celtic Sea- a healthy marine environment that gives local people a say in how the area is managed, ensuring that those who are dependent on the sea for their livelihoods are at the heart of its management. 
 
Keynote speaker and host at the PISCES report launch in Brussels, Lowri Evans, Director General, DG MARE spoke of ‘Blue Growth’ and the vital role marine industries must have in securing a better future for their industry and the environment. 
 
Dr Lyndsey Dodds from WWF-UK, founder member of the PISCES project, said: “So much has been achieved through the PISCES project and so much more is still to come. PISCES has helped Celtic Sea sea-users to develop a common voice that can help  improve the management of our seas. By working together we can manage our seas effectively and for the future.” 
 
PISCES is the first project of its kind to translate European legislation into practical recommendations. It has been produced at a time when European countries are considering how to deliver EU marine legislation aiming to  protect and conserve Europe’s seas. The guide makes vital recommendations for how this can happen and if used correctly it should help to improve understanding of sustainable management among those who use and manage the Celtic Sea and other marine regions.
 
For further information, please contact:
Marie Hounslow, PISCES Communications Officer,
E-mail: mchounslow@gmail.com
Tel:  +44 7986 313 970
 
Notes to editors:
 
  • PISCES (Partnerships Involving Stakeholders in the Celtic Sea Ecosystem) has brought together stakeholders from the Celtic Sea to develop a practical guide on implementing the ecosystem approach in the context of the European Union (EU) Marine Strategy Framework Directive. 
     
  • Funding: PISCES is a €2 million project which has been funded with the contribution of over €1 million from the LIFE+ financial instrument of the European Community. LIFE is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment. Most of the remaining funding was provided by WWF-UK and The Environment Council.
     
  • The Celtic Sea, in the north-east Atlantic Ocean, has a long maritime heritage and supports many economically significant industries and activities. It is an extraordinarily productive sea, hosting varied habitats and a wealth of biodiversity (including many commercially important species). The project area forms part of the Celtic Sea under the jurisdiction of the UK, France and Ireland (see map). Other member states also have interests there (e.g. international fisheries, shipping etc.).
     
  • Ocean pressures: The ocean, seas and coasts are under severe strain. Up to 70 per cent of people rely on fish as their primary source of protein and more than 90 per cent of our trade is carried by shipping, yet only 1 per cent of the world’s seas are protected. More than 46,000 pieces of plastic litter are floating on every square mile of ocean. Fish caught accidentally amounts to approximately 25 per cent of all of those caught, and 761 marine species are on the verge of global extinction.
     
  • Partner Information: This project is being delivered by WWF-UK in partnership with The Environment Council and WWF Spain with support from country technical leads SeaWeb in France and The Coastal & Marine Research Centre in Ireland. 
     
  • WWF is one of the world's largest independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in more than one hundred countries.  We're working to create solutions to the most serious environmental issues facing our planet, so that people and nature can thrive.  Through our engagement with the public, businesses and government, we focus on safeguarding the natural world, tacking climate change and changing the way we live. 
     
  • Partner websites: WWF www.wwf.org.uk;  The Environment Council www.the-environment-council.org.uk; SeaWeb www.seaweb.org; The Coastal & Marine Research Centre, University College Cork http://cmrc.ucc.ie
The Celtic Sea
© WWF Enlarge

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