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Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Animals and the environment

Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Raising awareness about threats to the marine ecosystem

Half of the world's population lives within the coastal zone and relies upon the oceans for both livelihood and as a source of essential protein. The oceans, however, are becoming more acidic due to increased levels of carbon dioxide which is dramatically affecting the marine ecosystem. It is this that the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) put at the forefront of the political agenda.

The acidity increase is something that ranks alongside global warming in its seriousness, according to PML, however it was clear to the charity that there was very little understanding of the effects of increased carbon dioxide on the oceans ecosystem. PML therefore began working to significantly increase awareness and understanding of the issue and this research was deemed essential for UK and international policy makers.

PML has been very successful in targeting key audiences, through PML scientists delivering keynote speeches at international and national conferences and building relationships with politicians. PML scientists were also able to present evidence to the European Union director general for the environment and contribute to the UNESCO website on ocean acidification.

PML's achievements can be measured by its success in attracting further funding of £493,000 and although it cannot estimate the number of people directly helped by its activities, the initiative has brought to the fore an issue of major environmental consequences that may well have serious negative effects on millions of people worldwide. The judges called PML's work a great example of how the voluntary sector can turn something with low morale into a world-class leader in its field.

Beverley Tremain
Company secretary
Prospect Place
The Hoe
Plymouth PL1 3DH
01752 633 111
Reg no: 1091222
www.pml.ac.uk

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