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  1. ITV Report

Warning over Jersey's offshore reefs

Minquiers Photo: ITV News

Environmentalists are warning Jersey's offshore reefs could be lost in years to come, if more is not done now to protect them.

Both the government, and a local environmental group, are speaking out following repeated damage at the Minquiers and Ecrehous.

There's evidence visitors to the sites have been ripping out vegetation and disrupting nesting birds.

Plants have been ripped up. Credit: ITV News

Fires have also been started near to people's homes.

The Minquiers and Ecrehous are both RAMSAR sites. That means they're recognised internationally as important wetlands.

Jersey is responsible for protecting the area for conservation but also for the residents who live there:

Unfortunately, what we were seeing there was that there was a large group of people and what they were doing is really scouring the reef looking for various types of mollusc and not really returning the rocks and leaving quite a lot of litter about as well."

– Kevin Mcllwee, Jersey Seasearch

The major concern is that the roots of plants and shrubs on the shore help keep sand and soil in place.

Without these roots, the tiny islands could one day disappear.

Leading to the loss of an entire ecosystem of birds, plants and insects.

Watch Ruth Laidler's full report here: