Living Seas

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Crab on the beach by Adam CormackCrab on the beach by Adam Cormack

From the ocean depths to the coastal shallows, our native marine wildlife is in drastic decline.

The marine wildlife we have today is just a drop in the ocean compared to what we once had.

The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts

Overfishing, climate change and pollution are having devastating effects on the marine environment. Just 2% of the UK’s seas have some protection for wildlife, with less than 0.001% fully-protected from all damaging activities.

Everyone has an impact on the health of the seas, whether it’s choosing to buy fish from sustainable sources, or using ocean-friendly household chemicals, we can all help to protect and improve the state of our vulnerable marine wildlife and habitats.

The Wildlife Trusts believe it is possible to achieve Living Seas around the UK within 20 years – a single generation – but only if we seize opportunities now to make radical changes over the next five years.

In estuaries and mudflats, rock pools and beaches, open bays and wild water around our islands you will find weird and beautiful wildlife. Orca, Dahilia Anemones, Red Gurnard, Sea Lettuce, Bottle-nosed Dolphins and Basking Sharks live in UK waters.

In Living Seas:

  • Wildlife and habitats are recovering from past decline as our use of marine resources becomes more 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 and its wildlife for the many ways they support our quality of life.

How you can help

We urgently need your help to bring our seas back to life. The Wildlife Trusts need you to show the government how much we care about our seas, through supporting the designation of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs). Although the UK government is committed to establishing a network of MCZs, only 27 have so far been approved in England. Marine Conservation Zones protect threatened undersea habitats such as eelgrass meadows, rocky reefs and deepwater canyons – and the animals that live in and around them.

Get involved 


  • Become a Friend of a Marine Conservation Zone.
  • Contact us to discuss how you can support vital conservation projects around the UK.
  • Join the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust, and support conservation in your local area.
  • Join the SOS team, our online campaigners’ network, to find out how you can support and take part in our marine campaigns.

At home

  • Use environmentally-friendly detergents.
  • Avoid toxic chemicals in your home and garden.
  • Reduce, recycle and reuse as much as possible and dispose of rubbish carefully, including taking old engine oil to a recycling centre.
  • Buy seasonal and locally-caught fish, and avoid deep-water fish such as the orange roughy. For more information on which fish are sustainable, take a look at www.goodfishguide.org.uk.
  • Don’t buy ornaments or jewellery made from marine creatures.
  • Ensure any creatures you buy for your aquarium are bred in captivity.

The Wildlife Trusts' Living Seas

Ballan wrasse at St Abbs by Jim Greenfield

Find out more about the Living Seas campaign from the national Wildlife Trust. 

 

Living Seas vision

Living Seas Vision

Download our Living Seas vision.

Bernard the Gurnard

Bernard the Gernard

Meet Bernard the Gurnard. He's a fish on a mission to make the case for Marine Protected Areas. See Bernard in action.