CRAMOND BEACH CLEAN-UP: GREENS HIGHLIGHT NEED FOR A MARINE BILL

Robin Harper MSP will today visit Cramond Beach in Edinburgh to support the Adopt a Beach clean-up organised by the Marine Conservation Society. (2)  
Robin Harper MSP this week lodged a Parliamentary motion urging MSPs not to ignore the plight of Scotland’s seas by urging the Scottish Government to develop a Scottish Marine Bill as a matter of urgency. (3)

Robin Harper said “Beach clean-ups always attract a good turnout proving that people value and appreciate their local marine environment and wildlife. It’s a fun and worthwhile
event that encourages everyone to do their bit to look after their environment.

“The Scottish Government has made no commitment to introduce a Scottish Marine Bill in the next 12 months. A Bill needs to be developed as a matter of urgency to ensure that our marine environment is protected for future generations.”

Adopt-a-Beach and Beachwatch are coastal environmental initiatives organised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), involving local individuals, groups and communities in caring for their coastal environment.

Robin Harper said “There is an estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic in each a square mile of ocean, 100,000 marine mammals die each year because of plastic. A huge proportion of this is thrown of ships or blown off the land and beaches, as if the threat of climate change is not enough our thoughtless dropping of litter not just on beaches but on the streets of our cities is seriously damaging our marine environment with a threat
which does not biodegrade or sink or go away. If we don’t change our ways in 40 years time there could be as much as 100,000 bits of plastic per square mile of ocean. This is why it is so important to keep drawing attention to the problem and I commend the MSC and Beachwatch for the work they do every year.”

Greens have been at the forefront of campaigning to block the ship-to-ship oil transfer threat in the Firth of Forth and successfully persuaded the SNP government to improve the law governing the assessment of major projects that threaten valuable marine areas. (4)

1. For more on the clean-up and directions to beaches, see ttp://www.adoptabeach.org.uk/results2.php?BeachRegion=Scotland

2, The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the UK charity dedicated to the protection of the marine environment and its wildlife. Since its formation in 1983, MCS is a recognised
authority on marine conservation and is regularly consulted by Government for its views on a range of marine issues. MCS provides information and guidance on many aspects of marine conservation and produces the annual Good Beach Guide (www.goodbeachguide.co.uk) and Good Fish Guide, as well as promoting public participation in volunteer projects and surveys such as Beachwatch, Adopt-a-Beach and Basking Shark Watch. See www.mcsuk.org for more information. Anyone in the UK can adopt their favourite stretch of coast and take part in annual (Beachwatch) or quarterly (Adopt-a-Beach) beach cleans and surveys to monitor litter throughout the year and help campaign for cleaner seas. MCS in Scotland collaborate with all the Firth Partnerships to
help inspire as many groups as possible to take part and help turn the tide on litter. See www.adoptabeach.org.uk for more information and a list of Scottish adopted beaches.

3. Parliamentary Motion lodged by Robin Harper MSP. S3M-446 Robin Harper (Lothians) (Green) : Don’t Ignore the Plight of Scotland’s Seas— That the Parliament supports
Scottish Environment LINK’s calls for a Scottish Marine Bill; regrets that the Scottish Government has made no commitment to introducing a Scottish Marine Bill in the next year; believes that Scottish marine legislation is essential to ensure that future generations are able to enjoy a sustainable living from Scotland’s seas, and calls on the Scottish Government to set out a timetable for the development of a Scottish Marine Bill
as a matter of urgency.

4. http://www.scottishgreens.org.uk/site/id/5841/title/FORTH_OIL_THREAT_TACKLED_BY_GREEN_LAW.html