Penguin-masked activists campaign for St Albans Greenpeace

PUBLISHED: 14:57 22 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:57 22 January 2018

Penguin campaigners take to the streets for Greenpeace in St Albans.

Penguin campaigners take to the streets for Greenpeace in St Albans.

Archant

Activists wearing penguin masks took to the streets of St Albans as part of a campaign to protect the Antarctic.

A group of masked volunteers joined St Albans Greenpeace in St Peter’s Street on Saturday, January 20 to raise awareness about the need for an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary.

The ‘penguins’ are joining volunteers around the world who are campaigning to create the world’s largest protected area in the Antarctic Ocean. Greenpeace is aiming to inspire St Albans residents to call on the UK Government to help ensure the proposed protected area becomes reality.

The Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary would cover 1.8 million square kilometres of ocean, creating a safe haven for animals like whales and penguins. The sanctuary would also make the water off-limits to industrial fishing vessels which suck up the tiny shrimp-like krill on which Antarctic life relies.

In October this year, the Antarctic Ocean Commission (or CCAMLR - Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living) will meet to decide whether the Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary should be created. The UK Government, as a member of the Commission, will have a crucial say in the decision.

Juliet Voisey, a Greenpeace volunteer from St Albans, said: “It’s so important for people here to be aware that everyone is meeting later this year to discuss the Antarctic.

“They can help put pressure on this government to make the right decision.”

Greenpeace believes that without public pressure, the governments in the Commission will not do all they can to protect the Antarctic. In late 2017, the Commission failed to create a new sanctuary in the East Antarctic because of lobbying from the fishing industry.

The penguin protest was part of Greenpeace’s campaign to ensure that the voices of ordinary people who are concerned with the health of the planet are heard above those in the industrial fishing industry.

Juliet added: “I hope people in our community help us make history. Sign the Greenpeace petition and join people around the world to create the world’s largest protected area.”

To sign the petition go to https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/antarctic?source=wb&subsource=20171101ocwb01

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