Gina Mills (Living Seas Champion) has taken on the role of Secretary to our Marine Advisory Group - a role for which her previous professorial role at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology has equiped her most suitably. Gina provides a brief summary of the group's work for the North Wales Wildlife Trust.
"What’s our purpose?
There are many potential threats to our precious marine environment, including pollution, changes in fishing practices, the development of marine renewables and disturbance caused by beach and sea users. As volunteers, our role is to use our combined knowledge of marine issues to help the Living Seas programme at the Wildlife Trust to prioritise their monitoring, campaigning and conservation activities.
Who are we?
With a strong interest in NW Wales, we are a group of (semi-) retired professors of environmental and marine science, marine conservation experts and marine business experts.
Our contributions include ad-hoc responses to consultations and planning proposals as needed, and regular meetings as a group to update NWWT on current developments and brainstorm on best ways forwards.
What do we do?
We contribute expert advice on Welsh Government consultations and development proposals that will impact on the marine environment. We also advise on the management of NWWT reserves where there are marine ecosystems, including local nature reserves and Special Areas of Conservation. Our contributions include ad-hoc responses to consultations and planning proposals as needed, and regular meetings as a group to update NWWT on current developments and discuss the best ways forwards.
For example, the Welsh Government consultation on ‘Brexit and our Seas’.
Brexit is so high on all our agendas just now. In May, 2019, Welsh Government (WG) published a consultation about how exiting the European Union would impact on our seas.
After extensive discussions with stakeholders over the past two years, this consultation with users, environmentalists and the public, is the first stage in the process of creating a new policy and fit for purpose management regime for Wales. The aim is to ensure the Welsh marine environment and fishing fleets can prosper in a post EU world. The five Wildlife Trusts in Wales – Gwent, Montgomeryshire, North Wales, Radnorshire, and South & West Wales (hereafter referred to as the ‘Wildlife Trusts’) presented a combined response to this consultation. Our role as a Marine Advisory Group was to provide technical advice for use in this consultation, including making recommendations for an ecosystems-based approach to managing the marine environment."