George met with Tom Hickey, Government Relations Officer at the Pew Trusts, to discuss a number of issues surrounding marine preservation. In particular, Tom told George about the Pew Trusts’ aim to create a fully protected marine sanctuary around the South Sandwich Islands, which would help protect a number of native species and provide a unique observation area for the effects of climate change close to the Antarctic.
George expressed the Government’s commitment to keeping our seas clean, including the ‘Blue Belt’ pledge for the protection of wildlife and the creation of over 50 Marine Conservation Zones in British waters all around the world. He was also able to reassure Tom that monitoring and tackling climate change remains a top priority for the Government, and they discussed the steps Britain has already taken to become a world leader in this area.
They also talked about the far-reaching effects of illegal fishing, which include human trafficking and modern slavery. These are issues which have formed an important part of the Government’s agenda for the last 7 years, and have been a particular focus of the Prime Minister during her time in the Home Office and now in Downing Street.
George and Tom discussed the advances in satellite technology that could make illegal fishers and traffickers easier to detect, and George was able to offer Tom advice on how to take his proposals further with the Home Office and the Department for International Development.