A zero-emissions ice-cream van parked-up outside Parliament in Westminster today to demonstrate the 250,000 Ocean Heroes who are supporting ocean recovery by taking action in their own lives, signing a petition or writing to an MP as part of the Ocean Hero campaign from WWF + Sky Ocean Rescue.

Executive Director of Advocacy & Campaigns at WWF, Kate Norgrove, and Ocean Hero Ambassador Steve Backshall handed in the campaign petition with over 200,000 signatures to DEFRA Minister Rebecca Pow, calling on the Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to make a public commitment to ocean recovery by World Ocean Day in June 2021.

Recent research reveals three-quarters of UK adults want the government to do more to protect UK seas. To help raise awareness, as part of the Ocean Hero campaign, Sky Ocean Rescue and WWF have also launched an interactive map, which showcases the UK’s rich variety of marine life and habitats. It also raises awareness of the threats our seas face right now, such as pollution and over-fishing, and inspires everyone to take action to support ocean recovery by becoming an Ocean Hero. To date, 250,000 people have signed up to be an Ocean Hero to help protect our seas for the future.

Tanya Steele, Chief Executive at WWF, said: “The UK’s coasts and seas are an unsung hero in the world’s fight against climate change and play home to a great variety of marine life – from dolphins, whales, sharks, seals, puffins and seahorses to cold-water coral, seagrass and saltmarshes. But right now, our seas are in trouble. Over-fishing, pollution, coastal development and rising temperatures, combined with increasing acidification, is putting enormous pressure on marine ecosystems.

“Over 12 years ago, the UK government committed to healthy seas by the end of 2020 – yet today, less than 1% are properly protected. With nature in freefall, it’s vital we do all we can to stop the threats to our ocean and marine life. It’s time for the government to take action for ocean recovery and become an Ocean Hero”.

Jeremy Darroch, Executive Chairman at Sky and WWF-UK Ambassador concludes: “We all cherish the incredible marine life and beauty of the UK coastline, but we know it is under threat. The health of our oceans and climate change are inextricably linked and we need urgent action to restore and protect them. At Sky, we’ve set our own ambition to be net zero carbon by 2030 and want to inspire others to #GoZero with us. That’s why we’re calling on the UK public to become Ocean Heroes; to play their part in restoring the health of our seas to benefit climate, nature and people.”

There are lots of ways to become an Ocean Hero with Sky Ocean Rescue and WWF, from taking actions that make a difference to ocean recovery, to writing a letter to your MP. Become an Ocean Hero today: www.wwf/