Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Wildlife and marine energy

Hey everybody. Sorry for the prolonged absence, but I am currently at a UN convention on endangered species (CITES), fighting battles on tigers, elephants, rhinos and a whole bunch of other stuff. Suffice to say that it is exhausting and there is not much time for writing blogs and communicating with the outside world!

I don;t want to talk about CITES just yet, as it is all ongoing, and I don't want to interfere with the outcomes, but there is a lot of stuff in the press. Just google CITES DOHA followed by tuna, ivory or tigers and you will see some of the main issues.

In other news, the Crown Estate in the UK just issued leases for seabed sites which could eventually see up to 1.2 GW of marine and tidal power developed in Scotland. This is by far the largest marine energy programme now underway in the world, and while it is still in its early stages, it gives the UK a chance to build on its world leading position in marine renewable energy. There is a press release from RenewablesUK here.

There is an interesting link though between wildlife and renewable energy. As pressure on our seas and coastlines grows for essential renewable energy deployment, we must be ever more rigorous and sensitive about protecting the creatures of the sea. Sadly, these programmes will inevitably lead to a loss of habitat, so I would like to see these developments go hand in hand with a systematic network of marine reserves and no-take zones, covering up to 20% of the UK's waters. This would benefit wildlife and people – both by providing beauty and wildlife, and by enhancing fish stocks and regeneration of biodiversity.

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