The Government are on track to meet their manifesto blue belt pledge. This will deliver marine protection across nearly 4 million sq km of the earth’s oceans and seas around our overseas territories by 2020. We are also working through the Commonwealth marine economies programme to enable small island Commonwealth states to conserve and use their maritime space sustainably.
How will it be enforced?
Very succinct, Mr Speaker! This is a wholly good news story. The BBC’s “Blue Planet” series has inspired millions of viewers, and we are putting that into practical effect. I can make it very clear to my right hon. Friend that we are working with our overseas territories to ensure that each of our marine protected areas is backed by robust legislation, effective monitoring and the very strong enforcement that he would wish to see.
When it comes to improving global ocean conservation, third world countries want to be effective but do not have the resources to do so. What resources are being made available to those third world countries to help them carry out their job as well?
I am not absolutely clear exactly what goes through the Department for International Development for this kind of purpose, but obviously there are international treaties and international treaty obligations. I hope that collectively the world can get together to ensure that the objectives we all share are properly put into effect.