United Kingdom Should Follow Norway's Example and Protect Reefs

Norway announced it will protect the Tisler Reef, a cold-water coral barrier along the Norwegian-Swedish sea border. This policy reflects an awareness of the damage done in the area by trawler fishing. The reef was recently discovered and has uniquely rich marine habitats.

Borge Brende, Norwegian environment minister, said: "Norway wants to see the destruction of cold water coral reefs ended. We have taken the first steps to stop the destruction of our own reefs and more steps will follow. I call on other nations to increase their activities to protect their coral reefs against both the direct and indirect threats."

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) warns that up to half the world’s cold water corals could already be destroyed because of bottom trawling, marine pollution and oil and gas exploration.

Despite this fact, WWF claimed that the the UK government continues to break its own promise to protect the Darwin Mounds. The Darwin Mounds are a coral reef similar to Tisler. They are 100 miles off the northwest coast of Scotland. Today this reef remains unprotected and is being destroyed by indiscriminate trawling.

Helen McLachlan, marine policy officer for WWF Scotland, said it was very important that the government act now to save this reef. "They have taken thousands of years to establish, yet they can be wiped out in an instant by trawling activity," she added.

Source: The UK Herald

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