Tuesday , January 31 2023

"Stop treating seas as a sewer", deputies demand in an attempt to obtain a protection treaty Environment


A new global agreement to protect the seas should be a priority for the government to stop our seas becoming a "sewer", according to a group of MPs from different parties.

Pollution is set to rise in the next decade, warned the environmental audit committee, while excessive fishing denudes the vital marine habitats of fish, and climate change causes harmful ocean warming as well as deoxygenation and acidification.

The effects of plastic pollution are particularly poorly understood, the commission found in its report, published on Thursday. He found "the lack of data on the serious and long-lasting effects on the health of plastic particles entering the food chain" and accused the government of treating oceans as "out of sight, out of the mind".

A six-pack plastic pack floats in the sea.

The report indicates a lack of data on the long-term implications of plastic pollution at sea. Photo: Maarten Wouters / Getty Images

One way to address the problem would be through a "Paris agreement for the sea", the MPs recommended. Governments are still working on a possible new ocean protection treaty at the UN. MEPs also called on the government to meet its target date of the phasing-out of avoidable plastic waste in 2042 and called for more intensive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Labor Party, Mary Creagh, the committee chairman, said: "We have to stop treating our seas as sewage. Plastic, chemicals and sewers suffocate our oceans, pollute our water and harm all the ocean species from plankton to polar bears. reducing plastics while simultaneously exporting our contaminated plastic products demonstrates the lack of a common approach at the core of government strategy. "

Exploiting in the depths of the sea has also been a new threat to the oceans and must be regulated closely, suggested the report. Chemical pollution, including excess nutrients from fertilizers and debris and contaminants, has been identified as another problem that requires attention.

Exploitation off the coast of Papua New Guinea.

Exploitation off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Minerale Nautilus pictures

The report took note of the government's efforts on marine protected areas, but warned that allowing industrial fishing and harmful practices, such as bottom trawlers, undermines their effectiveness.

A UK government spokesman said: "The United Kingdom is already a world leader in protecting our seas and oceans. We have recently proposed 41 new marine conservation areas, we are asking to protect 30% of the world's oceans by 2030 and we will continue and, more quickly, to tackle the plague of material that damages marine life with ambitious resources and our waste strategy.

"We know there is more to be done and we will soon publish an international ocean strategy that will lead to global action to conserve the world's oceans."

Will McCallum, the head of the Greenpeace ocean in the UK, said: "Our government has repeatedly expressed its desire to lead the world in the field of ocean protection, and this report sets out exactly how this can be done. the plastic we will use first will be vital, as well as the prohibition of problematic plastics and the introduction of a plastic bottle return scheme as soon as possible. "

He also called for the sanctuaries of the Antarctic oceans and stopping deep-sea mining to understand its impact. "The ocean is our life support system," he said.

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