UWE lawyer takes part in 'wild law' event to save marine life from destruction

Issue date: 07 October 2014

Tom Appleby from UWE's Environmental Law Unit will be speaking at the UK Environmental Law Association meeting Wild Law: Saving the Marine Environment on 23 October in London. The meeting brings together experts on the legal steps needed to preserve life in the seas.

The event will be held at international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills and will be simultaneously screened at UWE.

Tom is a senior lecturer in law in UWE's Faculty of the Environment and Technology who was instrumental in helping the people of the Isle of Arran, off the west coast of Scotland, to save Lamlash Bay, which in the year 2000 was suffering from severe environmental degradation.

After many years of hard campaigning and detailed legal work by Tom, the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) established the UK's first community marine designated 'No Take Zone' at Lamlash Bay in September 2008. After three years of further campaigning, in July 2014 the area around the south of the island was among the first 30 marine protected areas designated in Scotland.

Tom said, “Our research helped to show local people the route through the complicated legal system and helped implement the marine reserves around Arran.”

Other leading figures at the event will be Professor Callum Roberts and David Hart QC. David has been a staunch advocate for wild law for many years and has a deep affinity with his native Norfolk coast. He will speak about damaging fishing practices and how society's attitude to the marine environment is causing its destruction.

He said, “Everyone knows that the fishing industry is unsustainable and that marine ecosystems worldwide are in danger of collapse. In the EU there are policy targets for more sustainable practices but these are only being slowly translated into practical effect. This meeting will hear from world experts on what we need to do if we are to save life in the seas.”

Callum is one of the world's leading marine conservation biologists. He is the author of The Unnatural History of the Sea: The Past and Future of Humanity and Fishing. Callum will discuss societal amnesia, environmental degradation and the failing model of nature conservation as a means to get the balance right between nature and human needs.

UWE is holding a screening of the event at 18.00 on 23 October.

Tickets to attend the event in London are available from UKELA

Tom is a member of the International Water Security Network , which is led by UWE, and is a trustee of the Community of Arran Seabed Trust and the Blue Marine Foundation.

A video of his latest research can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qsoi4TMq5bA

UKELA works to improve understanding and awareness of environmental law, and to make the law work for a better environment.

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