Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Sea giants need urgent protection

4 November 2014 Last updated at 01:48

By Roger Harrabin
BBC environment analyst

Basking sharks appear off British shores in spring and summer, yet despite their fearsome appearance, they are harmless filter feeders

The great predators of Britain's seas need protection from over-fishing, pollution, boat traffic and marine development, a report says.

The Wildlife Trusts are calling on the government to create 17 protected zones for whales, dolphins, porpoises and sharks round the coasts of England and Wales.

Their report says current policy fails to safeguard cetaceans.

The government says it is working to support the creatures.

But it adds that it is not convinced protected zones offer the best way forward.

The Trusts argue that survival rates will improve if ministers designate areas where nutrient-rich water wells up from the deep ocean, feeding plankton which in turn attract species of fish.

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