Conservatives have, this week, announced that special environmental protections will be extended around Liverpool Bay as part of a national plan that will see nearly 150,000 rare seabirds better protected as the UK’s ‘Blue Belt’ of marine protected areas extends by over 650 square miles.
The existing Liverpool Bay Special Protection Area will be bigger than ever meaning more birds are protected. Three others elsewhere around the UK have also been extended.
A further new 'Special Protection Area' has been announced in the Irish Sea between the Isle of Man and Anglesey – home to more than 12,000 Manx shearwaters.
These sites are given special status to protect populations of rare, vulnerable and migratory birds. These latest designations will help to safeguard the feeding grounds of over one quarter of the UK’s breeding population of little terns and bring the UK’s total number of marine Special Protection Areas to 106.
Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: "Like the millions of others watching Blue Planet II, I am only too aware of the importance of protecting our precious marine environment, and the wildlife that relies on healthy and productive seas.
"The UK is already a world leader in marine conservation, with over 23 per cent of our waters protected, and these new sites will help to strengthen our Blue Belt and give rare seabirds like the little tern a brighter future."
The sites form part of the government’s ongoing commitment to create a ‘Blue Belt’ of protected areas around the UK’s coast with more than 300 sites across the UK.
This news follows action by the Conservatives to scrap Labour's plans for Underground Coal Gasification in the Liverpool Bay, Hilbre Island and Dee Estuary and tougher action to tackle plastic pollution in the seas and oceans.