Fastnet Line helps 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 7th 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”.

 

Fastnet Line started operating the car-ferry Swansea-Cork service in 2010, allowing thousands of passengers and freight drivers to make the crossing between Swansea and Cork.

 

The Julia currently sails year-round six times a week from September to June and eight times per week during July and August and with onboard facilities that include three restaurants, two bars, shop, tourism information office, cinema, casino and children’s play area, there are plenty of opportunities for passengers of all ages to sit back, enjoy the journey.

 

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