Living Seas are The Wildlife Trusts’ vision for the future of the UK’s seas.

What are Living Seas?

A rocky reef bursting with brightly coloured fish, corals and sponges? A boat trip in the company of leaping dolphins and playful seals? Fishermen hauling nets that are brimful of big, tasty fish? Living Seas are all these things and more.

But the UK’s seas are not Living Seas. Decades of neglect have left them damaged and degraded, a shadow of their former diversity and abundance. We urgently need your help to bring them back to life. The next five years are critical. It is literally ‘make or break’ time. With new laws and Government commitments in the offing, we have a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity. If we make the very best of that opportunity, pushing every step of the way, our seas will turn the corner and start to recover their health. If we do not, they will continue on their downward spiral.


The Wildlife Trusts envisage that within Living Seas, marine wildlife thrives, from the depths of the ocean to the coastal shallows.


In Living Seas:

• Wildlife and habitats are recovering from past decline as our use of the seas’ resources becomes environmentally sustainable.

• The natural environment is adapting well to a changing climate, and ocean processes are helping to slow down climate change.

• People are inspired by marine wildlife and value the sea for the many ways in which it supports our quality of life

The way back to Living Seas

With the UK planning to leave the European Union in 2019, we have a unique opportunity to revolutionise the way we manage our vulnerable seas. Government’s first responsibility is to ensure that we bring across existing European regulations which provide protective measures for our seas and sea-life – we need to safeguard existing protective law, as promised in the Withdrawal Bill. With that done, The Wildlife Trusts have identified five key challenges that must be addressed to restore our Living Seas and secure their health for future generations. Our new report, The Way Back to Living Seas , outlines a revolutionary new approach to the way we manage our seas that will address these challenges and create a UK surrounded by inspiring, life-filled and sustainable Living Seas.

Read our report in full here .

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