Did you know that in the UK we are never more than 70 miles from the coast?
National Marine Week taking place from 23rd July - 7th August, is an annual event to raise awareness about the importance of the marine environment and the need to protect it. It is organized by The Wildlife Trust, a conservation charity that works to protect wildlife and natural habitats across the UK.
Threats such as plastic pollution, overfishing, and climate change, are all having a significant impact on the health of our oceans and the species that inhabit them.
Throughout the week, there are a range of events and activities designed to educate and engage the public about marine conservation. These include guided walks along the coast, beach cleans, and talks and workshops about marine wildlife and conservation issues.
National Marine Week also provides an opportunity to celebrate the incredible diversity of marine life that can be found around the UK. From seals and dolphins to seahorses and sea turtles, the UK's waters are home to a vast array of fascinating and beautiful creatures such as:
The basking shark is the largest fish in British waters growing up to a maximum of 12 m long, its size is the most obvious distinguishing feature. It’s mouth is up to 8ft wide!
The leopard-spotted goby is around 12-13 cm long. It is a pale fawn or light brown colour, with distinctive orange, red or black spots all over its head and body.
The green turtle is the largest hard-shelled sea turtle, it has a carapace (shell) up to 1.4 m in length and can weigh a total of 180 kg.
The Minke is a medium sized whale, sleek in shape, with a very pointed head. It is dark grey to black in colour with a white underside and has white patches behind the head and a bright white band on the outer part of the flippers.
A member of the cormorant family, with a body length of up to about 78 cm and a wingspan up to 1.1 m. The body is elongated with a long neck and tail. The adult is all black, including legs and feet, with a conspicuous yellow gape, the bare patch of skin at the corner of the mouth.
In addition to raising awareness and celebrating marine life, National Marine Week also encourages people to take action to protect the marine environment. This includes making changes to our daily lives to reduce our impact on the oceans, such as reducing our use of single-use plastics and supporting sustainable fishing practices.
Overall, National Marine Week is an important event that plays a vital role in raising awareness about the importance of the marine environment and the need to protect it. By engaging people of all ages and backgrounds in marine conservation, we can work together to ensure that our oceans remain healthy and vibrant for generations to come.
You can find out more about the UK’s diverse marine life here: www.marlin.ac.uk