LEAV­ING THE EU OF­FERS RISKS AND RE­WARDS

We must look at our coastal waters, say con­ser­va­tion­ists.

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Agenda News -

By 2050, 99 per cent of seabirds glob­ally will have some plas­tic in their stom­ach. It’s one rea­son, ac­cord­ing to Joan Ed­wards of The Wildlife Trusts, why the UK must plan for how we pro­tect our seas when we leave the EU.

The en­vi­ron­ment was not on the agenda dur­ing the ref­er­en­dum, Ed­wards tells BBC Wildlife, but much is at stake.

“Few peo­ple re­alise that 70 per cent of our marine en­vi­ron­ment law comes from Europe,Europe,” she says. “The con­ser­va­tion of our seas is at risk [ from Brexit], but there is an op­por­tu­nity here to take con­trol of our waters in a more sus­tain­able way.”

As an ex­am­ple, she says it could help us deal with plas­tic pol­lu­tion. “We will now have to go out onto the world stage and talk in­ter­na­tion­ally about how we ap­proach this,” she says. “That could speed things up.”

Greater pro­tec­tion for the Thames Es­tu­ary could help short-snouted sea­horses.

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