Protecting our seas: Marine Conservation

There’s been a lot in the news recently about Marine Conservation and the problems our ocean are having. For me in particular, a sensitive issue was raised by my very own Government who I respected a lot up until last month.

The Welsh Government to me are people who listen and people who do try to take the environment into consideration, that is until last month when a proposal was put up to allow Scallop Dredgers to dig in a SAC (Special Area of Conservation) in Cardigan Bay.  Cardigan Bay is a vital place for the conservation of Bottlenose dolphins, the dolphins here are Britain’s largest population and it is a major tourist attraction for people to

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Bottlenosed Dolphin – Cardigan Bay

experience these wonderful creatures. Two of the areas where they both hunt and breed are protected by the highest designation available under European Law: SAC. But does this mean they are protected in this area? Well, you would’ve thought so! But apparently the Welsh Government can allow dredgers to rip up the sea floor in search of Scallops whilst destroying the abundance of wildlife found on the sea floor. It’s not just Bottlenosed dolphins that rely on the West coast of Wales, other cetaceans such as Harbour Porpoise grace people with their presence along the St Davids to Cardigan Bay and there is extensive surveying done on this species in the area. The worst thing about the Dredging? They aren’t Welsh vessels, the vessels that will be undergoing the dredging are Manx and Scottish which means the line “going back into the Welsh economy” is utter nonsense since the people getting paid for the dredging and getting the Scallops aren’t Welsh which really questions the loyalty the Welsh Government has to its people and its Wildlife.

Although the issue with the Scallop Dredging is a sad one there is light at the end of the tunnel since the Government has allowed people to give their say, so if you do feel passionate about Marine Conservation and protecting the area then do give your opinion in the comments section on Survey Monkey.

But it’s not all doom and gloom and I’m not always a miserable person who loves a good moan! (who am I kidding I love a moan..) But ORCA has been undergoing a survey in the Bay of Biscay in search of Cuvier’s Beaked whales and there is a dense population in the South of the Bay which is fantastic news. Also, the news broke in October that Seaworld in California has been banned from breeding its Orca/Killer Whales which

“The building project was approved “under a condition that would prohibit captive breeding, artificial insemination, and the sale, trade or transfer of any animal in captivity.” “- BBC News October 2015

is fantastic since a life in a tank is no life at all, they are Whales which travel in large family groups so having them in tanks where they are isolated aren’t great for their mentality.

I felt like a bit of a hypocrite recently since I talk about Marine Conservation and protecting our oceans and educating others on the wonders of our oceans and yet I am terrified of water. I can swim and I do live next to the coast, but a bad experience in my life along with my fear of not being in control of a situation and a fear of the unknown does not make me very confident in water which has spiralled into a fear of water. But this year my wonderful other half helped me through panicking and helped me to visit Skomer Island on a boat, this was the first time I had touched the sea since I was ten and the first time I had ever been on a boat, the following day we went on a dolphin watch around Cardigan bay for two hours!! This was a major achievement for me and just last week I completed my Marine Mammal Surveyor certificate and so next year I will be helping ORCA on their ferry surveys to collect data to protect areas of our oceans for these wonderful cetaceans to live in and keep them safe.

Who knows maybe next year I will actually go swimming or even stand int the are! My marine conservation and my marine life is only just beginning!

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One thought on “Protecting our seas: Marine Conservation

  1. It beggars belief how much the various factions of UK government place profit over the natural world (I’m sure it is the same the world over sadly), and I was astounded to learn how little protection there is for our coast and surrounding waters, you would hope that being an island nation we would have more of an affinity to the seas and oceans.

    Like

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