Call to recognise value of marine environment

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JERSEY’s marine environment should be recognised as a valuable asset and ‘not just a source of fish’, the chief executive of the National Trust has said.

Dolphins off the coast of Gorey. Picture: Maximilian Young (28977660)

The National Trust for Jersey recently reminded its social media followers that ‘protecting our marine environment’ could deliver ‘huge dividends’.

Chief executive Charles Alluto discussed the importance of protecting and growing the Island’s marine wildlife, which could even see increased tourism as a result.

‘We do have substantial pods of dolphins and more recently we’ve had bluefin tuna – although they will only come into our waters if there’s food. So hopefully, with a more sustainable approach to our fisheries, we can attract bigger species,’ said Mr Alluto.

‘I think a healthy marine environment would be an amazing tourism asset. Wildlife tourism is probably one of the biggest sectors in terms of growth so there are real opportunities if we have a very healthy marine environment to increase tourism. Jersey also has seagrass beds with opportunities for carbon sequestration [the capture and secure storage of carbon that would otherwise be emitted to, or remain, in the atmosphere], especially as we’re seeking to be carbon neutral within the next ten years.’

According to Mr Alluto, Jersey’s marine environment is not only an important asset to benefit from, but is also a key part of the Island’s identity.

‘It’s about looking after our marine environment and not just seeing it as a source of fish,’ said Mr Alluto. ‘It can deliver a lot more and I think what’s crucially changed is that since the Crown gifted the seabed to the Island, the marine environment belongs to us all and we shouldn’t lose sight of that fact.

‘It’s about recognising that our marine environment is an incredibly important asset that could deliver quite a lot for Jersey,’ he added. ‘Not just wildlife tourism or carbon sequestration, but also about us as an Island nation looking after our environment and being shown to be looking after it well.’

James Jeune

By James Jeune

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