FALMOUTH has become the first town in the country to adopt a Full Ocean Recovery Declaration Motion after a vote by councillors this week.

The proposal to adopt the declaration was put before a full meeting of Falmouth Town Council on Monday night by the deputy mayor Kirstie Edwards. Councillors voted unanimously to adopt it.

Environmental campaigner Kirstie told fellow councillors that one city, Plymouth, had already adopted the declaration but Falmouth would be the first town.

"It's really important for everybody, for businesses for tourism and the council to make sure the waterways around here are clean and protect them and make moves now to stop them from degrading further," she said.

She said she had been working with a national specialist to put the declaration together.

"I think it is really important that we lead the way, as we often do in Falmouth on this, and to work with people all across the country to move this forward."

She said a lot of the work in the declaration would go towards educating young children about the importance of the ocean and waterways environment so they can go on to protect it in the future.


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Seconding the proposal, Cllr Alan Jewell said it was very important that the views of businesses were taken into account as well.

"We've just got to make sure that this motion ties up with what the businesses want from the ocean as well," he said. "In the past we have had confrontations between the conservation areas and the docks development such as dredging. We still want to push the dredging but we need to have a balance between business and conservation."


Falmouth is the first town in the country to adopted the ocean declaration

Falmouth is the first town in the country to adopted the ocean declaration

The full declaration adopted says:

Renowned globally as the UK’s maritime gateway to the world, in Falmouth the ocean is at the heart of our economy and the health and wellbeing of our community.

There is great opportunity in the development of a sustainable, equitable and vibrant blue economy that delivers both ocean recovery and local prosperity. We want to attract new investment and innovative, clean technologies to Falmouth.

Falmouth Town Council is leading the way in connecting people to the ocean through the development of a Beach management group, running community engagement programmes and supporting partners in protecting our waters.

We are champions of a sustainable Falmouth Harbour and local fishing industry. We are advocates for good marine management and put these principles into practice through our local partnership projects: the SSI, Climate Working Group, Green Corridor forum and the Fal & Helford Special Area of Conservation Management Forum, as well as many others.

We believe local government at all levels has a responsibility to play its part in delivering ocean recovery.

I propose that this Council declares an urgent need for Ocean Recovery.

We recognise that we need ocean recovery to meet our net zero carbon targets, and we need net zero carbon to recover our ocean.

This council pledges to:

1. Report to full council within six months on the actions and projects that will begin an ocean recovery in Falmouth.

2. Embed ocean recovery in all strategic decisions, budgets, plans and approaches to decisions by the Council (particularly relating to planning, regeneration, skills and local economy), aligning with climate emergency plans and considering ocean-based climate solutions in our journey to carbon neutrality.

3. Work with partners locally and nationally to deliver increased sustainability in local marine industries and develop a sustainable, equitable and vibrant blue economy that delivers ocean recovery and local prosperity.

4. Grow ocean literacy and marine citizenship in the town, including ensuring all pupils have a first-hand experience of the ocean before leaving primary school, including home-schooled children, and promote sustainable and equitable access to the ocean through physical and digital experiences.

5. Create an online portal on the Town Council website as part of our Green and Blue space information to update on ocean recovery progress, signpost to ocean literacy development opportunities, and marine citizenship pledges.

6. Call on the Government to put the ocean into net recovery by 2030 by:

a. Ensuring Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities and Natural England have the resources they need to effectively research and monitor our growing number of marine protected areas, and to set and enforce appropriate fishing levels that support local economies and deliver environmental sustainability.

b. Ensuring coastal communities have a meaningful say in the development of marine policy so that it delivers equitable and sustainable outcomes.

c. Appoint a dedicated Minister for Coastal Communities.

d. And by listening to marine scientific advice, including marine social science, to update the Marine Policy Statement and produce a national Ocean

Recovery Strategy which will:

i. Enable the recovery of marine ecosystems rather than managing degraded or altered habitats in their reduced state.

ii. Consider levelling up, marine conservation, energy, economic growth, flood and coastal erosion risk management, climate adaptation and fisheries policy holistically rather than as competing interests.

iii. Develop a smarter approach to managing the health of the entire ocean that moves beyond Marine Protected Areas and enables links to be made across sectors towards sustainability.

iv. Establish improved processes for understanding the benefits from ocean management, leaving no doubt the links between this and human lives, livelihoods, and wellbeing

v. Stop plastic pollution at source by strengthening the regulations around single-use plastics, polystyrene food and drink containers, and wet wipes, and by setting standards to ensure that all new domestic and commercial washing machines are fitted with a filter that captures a high percentage of microfibres produced in the wash cycle.