Troup Head RSPB reserve. Kittiwakes, Rissa tridactyla on the cliffs. Scotland.

Sealife Guardians

  • 7 million

    The number of seabirds which use the UK to make their nests
  • 2009/10

    UK Marine and Coastal Access Act comes into effect
  • 31

    Number of 127 proposed protected sites being implemented

Why we need to protect our sealife

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.

Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, taking off from water, Farne Islands, Northumberland
Blue wood texture background

The hustle and bustle of a seabird colony shows how important the UK's seas are to marine wildlife.

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A patch of gorse: habitat of Cirl bunting Emberiza cirlus. Labrador Bay, Devon, England.