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A brand new ocean conservation partnership for Belu – with Blue Marine Foundation

We’re stepping into the blue by joining forces with an ambitious marine conservation NGO.

Blue Marine Foundation’s mission is to see at least 30% of the world’s ocean under effective protection by 2030 and the other 70% managed in a responsible way. They’re not afraid to stick their heads above water (pun intended) and stand up for our oceans. At the end of 2023 Blue Marine announced it would take the UK government to court for illegally squandering fish stocks, and that’s just one of the many impactful things they’re doing in the name of ocean conservation.

An impact partnership focussed on long term protection

Belu’s commitment as an impact partner will see us providing essential funding for projects which restore habitats and enhance biodiversity. We’ll be engaging in co-creation initiatives, fostering collaboration between our customers and other partner organisations and helping to build advocacy for projects delivered by Blue Marine worldwide. A pioneering collaboration which we at Belu hope will inspire other businesses to turn their attention to protecting our oceans and marine life.

One of the primary focuses of the Belu-Blue Marine partnership is the expansion of the concept of biodiversity credits, supporting the shift from restoration to broader marine protection. Building upon Blue Marine’s ongoing Solent Seascape Project (let’s link to this?), the collaboration aims to develop new models of sustainable financing for marine conservation as well as restoration projects and test the biodiversity certificate approach in an area protected for kelp and fisheries recovery in Sussex.

Seals, Sussex kelp and a little bit of science

Blue Marine is a key partner in the Sussex Kelp Recovery Project, set up to support the recovery of kelp forests along the Sussex coastline. Through research and monitoring, Blue Marine, along with other partners, will assess the impacts and benefits of the Sussex IFCA Nearshore Trawling Byelaw, which stopped the destructive effects of trawling on marine habitats across 300 km2.

Kelp ‘forests’ are large brown algae that live in cooler, shallow waters near shorelines. There are roughly 30 different species of kelp and they grow in groups, like a forest on land, hence the name. Maintaining these kelp forests is so important because they are home to many plants and animals which use them as shelter and protection from predators and storms. Kelp provides shelter and feeding grounds for animals such as seals, fish, whales, birds and more and forms the structure for a unique ecosystem with one kelp plant supporting up to 80,000 individual animals.

A seal swims through kelp

Delivering scalable impact within marine conservation

By combining efforts, Belu and Blue Marine set a new benchmark for partnerships supporting nature-based solutions for coastal projects, and there’s plenty of potential to expand their impact to other regions in the future. Belu’s preference for delivering measurable impact over ambiguous credits aligns with Blue Marine’s goal of establishing a robust system for biodiversity certificates, which in turn will help further strengthen credibility and impact within conservation.

Aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 13 (Climate Action) and 14 (Life Below Water), this new ocean conservation partnership underpins both organisation’s dedication to addressing pressing environmental challenges and fostering a sustainable future.

A kelp forest, Sussex coast, UK

Charlotte Harrington, Belu’s Co-CEO, remarked, “The partnership between Belu and Blue Marine Foundation is a powerful commitment to marine conservation and biodiversity preservation. Through collective action and innovative approaches, this collaboration aims to make a tangible difference in safeguarding our oceans for generations to come whilst providing a framework for other businesses to follow and make a real impact through their buying power.” 

Find out more about Blue Marine Foundation HERE. If you would like to speak to a member of the Belu team about partnerships, email press@belu.org.

Blue Marine Foundation is a UK ocean conservation charity set up in 2010 by some of the team behind the award-winning documentary film ‘The End of the Line’. Blue Marine aims to restore the ocean to health by addressing overfishing, one of the world’s biggest environmental problems.  The charity is dedicated to creating marine reserves, restoring vital habitats and establishing models of sustainable fishing. Its mission is to see at least 30 per cent of the world’s ocean under effective protection by 2030 and the rest responsibly managed.

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