MARINElife – Conserving marine wildlife through research and education.
MARINElife is a UK-based charity that conducts scientific research on whales, dolphins and seabirds in the oceans of north-west Europe through a core team of professional staff, trained volunteers and a network of supporters.
Our core work since 1995 has been in researching the distribution, abundance and population trends for whales, dolphins and seabirds from commercial vessels in the Channel, Bay of Biscay, North Sea, Irish Sea and beyond.
We also believe strongly that engaging local communities to reinforce their passion about wildlife is a key success factor in marine conservation and as such local boat operators and the public play a vital part in our coastal projects.
Public awareness of marine wildlife is a vital part of MARINElife’s role and to date over 1 million people have been part of our education work which is striving to foster a new appreciation for the marine environment.
Key research projects for MARINElife include:
• Studying White-Beaked Dolphin and Bottlenose Dolphin population dynamics through targeted and opportunistic surveys and photo-identification
• Partnering with commercial vessel operators and other like-minded organisations and universities to generate meaningful scientific data for use by policy-makers
• Researching critically endangered Balearic Shearwaters in the Channel to understand the factors explaining their presence during the summer months
For further information about MARINElife, please visit our website at www.marine-life.org.uk
Registered Charity: 1110884
Registered Company: 5057367
Fastnet Line Comes to the Aid of Marine Research
Fastnet Line, operating the only ferry service to Cork from Wales is helping the charity MARINElife to carry out vital research into the conservation of marine wildlife.
Fastnet Line support MARINElife, a charity set up to monitor the population trends and movements of cetaceans (the collective name for whales, dolphins and porpoises), seabirds and other marine life, by providing them with free travel on The Julia.
MARINElife will run scientific surveys on the Swansea to Cork route during July and August when the ships schedule allows for daylight passage. Sightings will be posted on both MARINElife and Fastnet Line’s websites and the data collected will contribute to a better understanding of the distribution and abundance of whales, dolphins, porpoises and seabirds in the Celtic Sea. The research on The Julia contributes to a larger project operating on ferries around the UK coastline.
Paul O’Brien, Fastnet Line General Manager, said: “We are delighted to help MARINElife with their vital research and to offer them complimentary travel on our ferry and look forward to information about the wildlife in the waters we cross”.
The first of four surveys will take place on the 24h July 2011.
Adrian Shephard, Chairman of MARINElife Trustees, said: “We really appreciate the support of Fastnet Line. Ferries, or Ships of Opportunity as we refer to them, are a very convenient way of carrying out off-shore surveys. They allow us to access the same areas of ocean and monitor for changes over time – vital information which forms the basis of conservation decisions”.
“The route from Swansea to Cork crosses a range of marine habitats and we hope it will generate many sightings of cetaceans and seabirds, including two important species we monitor, the White-Beaked Dolphin and the Balearic Shearwater”.
“By using a standardised approach across multiple ferry routes, we are able to use the data to build a picture of the marine environment in the European Atlantic”.