To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to improve the UK’s Ocean Health Index score.
The UK Marine Strategy puts in place the framework for achieving good environmental status in UK waters. A recent consultation on the progress made towards GES showed that whilst progress was being made further work was needed.
The updated UK Marine Strategy Part I assesses an array of ocean health factors as well as economic and social analyses of the way we use our marine environment and the benefits it provides us. The updated assessments will be published later this year, giving improved information to the scientists working on the UK’s Ocean Assessment Score.
The UK is already a global leader in protecting seas, the ocean and marine life. Our work includes the creation of 355 Marine Protected Areas protecting 25% of UK waters, including the recent designation of 41 Marine Conservation Zones. On 8 June we announced a review into Highly Protected Marine Areas in England, which is due to report by early 2020.