The Marine Conservation Society presents its Annual Conference and AGM 2020

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Join us for an evening of #OceanOptimism

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Thursday 19 November from 5pm

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Welcome by Tom ‘The Blowfish’ Hird


Looking back, looking forward with our CEO Sandy Luk and Chair Amanda Nobbs


Annual General Meeting with Q&A


A Blue Green Recovery – what it means and how we can achieve it




Celebrating 20 years of our work in Scotland, featuring wildlife cameraman and filmmaker Doug Allan


Breakout session 1: Sea Champions: volunteering to inspire change

Join this session to hear from our amazing Sea Champion volunteers on the ground about the incredible projects they are taking part in and help us answer the question ‘Where next for volunteering?’


Breakout session 2: Marine (un)protected areas

MCS has been developing many work areas over the past 10 years to help make MPAs work for people and wildlife. Here we’ll demonstrate some of the projects where we’ve been instrumental in helping recover areas (e.g. Dornoch Oysters, Plymouth Seagrass beds), monitoring change in MPAs (Eddystone reef in Cornwall/Plymouth), and working with local communities (Sussex and Suffolk/Lincolnshire). We’ll also highlight some of the issues around offshore MPAs, and the potential for protection for these sites when we Brexit.


Breakout session 3: Campaigning tips from the Scottish Youth Parliament

In this interactive workshop, members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) will discuss effective campaigns that have influenced change. We’ll also talk about how to build an effective campaign, and share some of our tips for campaigning.


Breakout session 4: Fishing after Brexit: our future fishing policies

The pending end of the Brexit transition period marks the formal end to EU fisheries policies applying to the UK. In practice though, EU policies will continue to influence the UK’s in perpetuity given that we share over 100 fish stocks and currently sell most of our fish to them. So just what does the UK intend on doing differently? This webinar will take a look at the emerging new UK policy landscape and explore the possibilities for future fisheries management in the UK.


Breakout session 5: A digital dive with Seasearch

Join this session to take a virtual dive under the waves in a whistle-stop tour of some of our fabulous inshore waters around the British Isles, and see the marine life in its natural habitat. There will be plenty of time for questions, both about the marine life itself and how you can get involved with Seasearch. You don’t have to be a marine biologist, you just need to be interested in what you see underwater, want to find out more about it and how to help protect it!




Young people and marine conservation, with the Scottish Youth Parliament


The wonderful world of wildlife filmmaking with Inka Cresswell and Lizzie Daly


Awards Presentation


Guest speaker: Gillian Burke - the blue planet and me


End of conference


Doug Allan

Doug spent seven years in Antarctica as a research diver, marine biologist, photographer and base commander for the British Antarctic Survey. In 1984 he changed direction to full time freelance filming. Since then he has become one of the world’s best known and respected cameramen. He specialises in natural history, expeditions and science documentaries in some of the wildest and most remote places on our planet, filming for series such as The Blue Planet, Human Planet, Frozen Planet, Ocean Giants and Operation Iceberg.

Gillian Burke

Gillian joined the BBC’s much-loved Springwatch brand in 2018 alongside hosts Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan & Iolo Williams. Having earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Bristol University, Gillian pursued a career in natural history filmmaking, working her way up the ranks from Researcher to Producer/Director on several Animal Planet and Discovery Channel series. As a scientist, she is committed to tracking down and sharing evidence of hope. It’s why she defiantly remains an optimist (on most days).

Inka Cresswell

Inka Cresswell is a wildlife filmmaker and underwater camera operator. After studying a BSc degree in marine biology, she noticed a strong disconnect between science and general awareness and decided to combine her passion for underwater photography and interest in marine biology and conservation to create wildlife documentaries that focus on the underwater world and reconnect people with nature.

Lizzie Daly

Lizzie is a Welsh wildlife biologist, broadcaster, filmmaker and conservationist. A healthy curiosity for the natural world has led her to conduct research and make wildlife films all over the world. After establishing herself on CBeebies as a wildlife expert, Lizzie has gone on to present for BBC Earth Unplugged where she finds creative ways to inspire audiences such as attempting to dive like a gannet as well as presenting in various productions such as a wildlife quiz show for BBC2 in between her studies.

Tom ‘The Blowfish’ Hird

Tom is a marine biologist, broadcaster, author and science communicator. A regular face on British television for the past few years, Tom has appeared as “The Blowfish” on CBBC, ITV, BBC, CITV and Channel 4 as Sunday Brunch’s resident wildlife expert. Tom’s book – Blowfish’s Oceanopedia: 291 Extraordinary Things You Didn’t Know About The Sea – is an Amazon Best Seller and has been translated into many different languages for a global audience.

The Scottish Youth Parliament

The Scottish Youth Parliament is the democratically elected voice of Scotland’s young people. Our 166 members represent young people aged 12-25 in every Scottish constituency and eleven national voluntary organisations. Our vision for Scotland is of a nation that actively listens to and values the meaningful participation of its young people. This year’s national campaign: Pack it up, Pack it in, concentrated on reducing pollution levels which contribute to climate change. In this session, Liam Fowley MSYP will tell us about how the campaign empowered young people to take action through the pandemic.