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The hustle and bustle of a seabird colony gives the first hint as to just how important the UK's seas are to marine wildlife.

The seas surrounding our islands support almost half of all UK wildlife. Our waters provide rich feeding grounds for millions of seabirds with hungry chicks to feed. Basking sharks, playful dolphins, and seahorses glide gracefully under the water. But, they're all in trouble.

With the support of people like you, we've fought for years for better protection for our seas. In 2009 and 2010, thanks to those efforts, new laws were passed to protect the marine environment, including powers to create a national network of protected areas around the UK's seas and coasts. 

We've been calling for this network to be put in place as soon as possible, and for it to protect the full diversity of the marine environment and its unique wildlife, including seabirds.

However, initial delight has quickly turned to despair. Current proposals to create marine protected areas in the waters of each country offer almost no protection for seabirds, they're not located in the most important areas for marine wildlife, and their designation continues to be delayed, bringing uncertainty for everyone and risking further environmental damage.

Make a donation

Help fund the urgent work needed to protect our wonderful sealife. Your donation, however much you can afford, will make a huge difference to our sealife

Single donation

Give a regular monthly donation and become a Sealife Guardian

Regular donation

Share your photos

Show us your photos of the UK's beautiful coastline and its wildlife

  • Golden plover
  • Oystercatchers
  • Sitting pretty Flamborough cliffs spring 2012
  • Orderly queue for the ferry
  • Causeway Coast
  • Blowing bubbles....
  • Gull-iver the Traveller
  • Kittiwakes, by Anthony Griffiths
  • Atlantic Seal - by Laura Richardson
  • Where's all the fish gone?

Our work for sealife

Humans used to have little influence on marine wildlife. But as we trawl further out to sea for fish, and plunder its depths in search of precious resources, we're putting our fragile marine environment under pressure

Why our seas are vital

Home to breeding seabirds, wintering waders, divers and seaducks and waters full of plenty of other surprising and exciting inhabitants, sadly the seas around the UK's coasts are increasingly overfished and over-trafficked, but crucially under-protected. More...

Why our seas are vital

The threats to our sealife

With competition for food increasing and space at sea at a premium, we're in danger of losing the wonderful variety of life that gives our coasts and seas their charm and character. More...

The threats to our sealife

Safeguard our sealife blog

Stories, news and updates on our work to protect our marine environment

Latest news

Shetland’s Sumburgh Head Lighthouse Buildings officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal

6 June 2014

The opening ceremony for the newly refurbished Sumburgh Head Lighthouse Buildings in Shetland took place this week.

Puffins sitting on stone wall at RSPB Sumburgh Head nature reserve

Many hands make light work at Spurn Point

30 January 2014

Six team members from RSPB Bempton Cliffs made the journey to Spurn Point last week to join the massive clean-up operation in the wake of the recent flooding.

Flotsam and jetsam, sea-borne litter, on the tideline

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