On the day when the World Wildlife Trust has issued a report highlighting a 60% decrease in the world population of invertebrates, Liberal Democrats on Torbay Council, at the Full Council meeting on the 27 October 2016, are set to champion the need for a protected area in the south west of Lyme Bay for dolphins, whales and seabirds.
The leader of the Liberal Democrats on Torbay Council, Steve Darling, said: “This shocking report names human activities such as degradation of our environment and over-fishing as some of the reasons for this massive slump in our wildlife. This report reinforces the desperate need for such an area of protection off our shoreline.”
Fellow Liberal Democrat councillor Nick Pentney, who is seconding the motion, said: “Societies should be judged by the way they treat their environment. I am sorry to say that we have little to be proud of. I fear for what we will be leaving future generations to inherit.”
The motion is as follows.
Notice of Motion – Council 27 October 2016
Protecting Devon Dolphins (Mayoral)
This Council notes that Devon Wildlife Trust is calling on the government to create a protected area in the south west of Lyme Bay for dolphins, whales and seabirds. This area is home to white beaked dolphins, but these dolphins have no legal protection against damaging human activities here.
After years of campaigning, fifty Marine Conservation Zones have now been designated to help our marine environment recover from decades of decline.
But there are many places and species that still need protection. Large marine animals, such as whales, dolphins and basking sharks are also at risk from damaging activities.
Although these species range across large areas, evidence from overseas shows that Marine Protected Areas - in places where animals gather to feed, breed and raise their young - can help to protect those at risk.
An area in the south-west of Lyme Bay is vital for a population of white beaked dolphins that spend much of their lives here, foraging for food and nursing their young.
This area is also important for bottlenose dolphins, minke whale, basking shark and thousands of seabirds.
Creation of a new Marine Conservation Zone here would protect marine animals against damaging human activities.
This Council resolves to support the campaign to create a 'Devon Dolphins' MCZ in the south-west of Lyme Bay.
This Council instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Andrea Leadsom MP, advising of our support of this initiative.
Proposed by Steve Darling
Seconded by Nick Pentney