03 August 2020

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Marine Conservation Society (MCS) fight for marine wildlife protection, sustainable fisheries, and clean seas and beaches.

Our oceans cover over 70% of our planet, providing more than half the oxygen we breathe and absorbing nearly a third of our carbon emissions. But today, they are in poor health because of human activity.

MCS are determined to change this, working with communities, businesses, and governments.

Players of People's Postcode Lottery have raised almost £2.7 million to support the charity's work to stop people from taking too much out of our sea. And stop them putting too much in.

From cleaning beaches to shaping sustainable policies, MCS work towards a cleaner, better-protected, healthier ocean. One we can all enjoy.

For a cleaner ocean, MCS find ways to prevent and clean up marine litter and pollution. It campaigns to stop plastic entering our oceans, from straws and wipes to microplastics. And organise volunteer beach cleans to stop plastic waste going back into the water and endangering sea life. Using science, MCS track the health of our waters and call for better environmental regulations.

For a better-protected ocean, MCS secure spaces where species and habitats can recover. MCS are aiming for at least 30% of UK waters being effectively managed to protect wildlife and ecosystems. Only a sea full of life can absorb carbon and tackle climate change.

For a healthier ocean, MCS promote sustainable fishing and aquaculture to minimise the harm caused by harvesting and farming resources. MCS support businesses to catch and source seafood sustainably and incorporate conservation into their work. And educate the public – their Good Fish Guide lets consumers know which fish are the most and least sustainable, so they can make better seafood-buying choices.

To make this happen, MCS:

  • Advocate policy and legislative change through influencing politicians. And challenge those responsible when laws are not enforced
  • Engage communities to get involved in their campaigns and call for action to protect our sea 
  • Educate and influence people and businesses to understand the value of a healthy ocean and change their behaviour
  • Carry out practical conservation activities with volunteers and partners to collect and share scientific evidence, using this data to better understand our sea and inform our work

For more than 30 years, MCS have been the voice of the sea, defending our coastal habitats and species. This is vital not only to protect wildlife but to support communities and jobs.

Their work has resulted in the creation of marine protected areas around the UK, carrier bag charges to reduce litter, and supermarkets being more aware of the need to stock sustainable seafood. But there is much more to do.