[MARMAM] Volunteers needed to spot whales, dolphins and seabirds June 2012

Ed Drewitt ed.drewitt at marine-life.org.uk
Thu Jun 7 12:12:38 PDT 2012

Media Release
Media Release
Media Release

Immediate Release

Ferry Company Helps Count Dolphins and Seals in the English Channel

Dolphins and seals living in the English Channel won’t go unnoticed this
summer when the ferry
company, DFDS Seaways, provides free passage for MARINElife’s surveyors to
discover how many
of these little-known sea-faring mammals are living there.

MARINElife, the UK-based marine wildlife charity, will be able to extend
its vital marine
conservation research on existing sailings operating from Dover to Dunkirk
– and it’s hoped
they will see Harbour Porpoises, a small dolphin-like animal which lives
in shallower waters
around the UK coastline.

DFDS Seaways already supports MARINElife, a charity set up to monitor the
populations and
movements of cetaceans (the collective name for whales, dolphins and
porpoises), seabirds and
other marine life on three other routes from Felixstowe, Rosyth and

MARINElife will run monthly scientific surveys starting in June 2012 and
sightings by a research
surveyor blog will be posted on the MARINElife website
(www.marine-life.org.uk). The data
collected will contribute to a better understanding of the distribution
and abundance of dolphins,
porpoises, seals and seabirds in the English Channel. The research with
DFDS Seaways contributes
to a larger project operating on ferries around the UK coastline.

Jesper Christensen, DFDS Seaways Plc representative involved in the
project, said: “We are
delighted to expand our help to MARINElife so they can further develop the
understanding of the
wildlife in the area. We look forward to hearing more about the wildlife
encountered on these

Jo Wharam, Trustee for MARINElife, said: “We really appreciate the
continued support of DFDS
Seaways. 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”.

MARINElife Research Director Dr Tom Brereton, said “The waters around the
UK are home to a
large proportion of the European Harbour Porpoise population, a species
whose conservation has
been highlighted as important at a European level. Gathering data on the
population status of this
species around the UK is critical in being able to define how to best
protect the species in the


For more information please contact:

Jade Wilson DFDS Seaways Plc

T: 0044 1732 779 087  E: dfdspr at westgatecomms.com

Ed Drewitt, PR & Publicity MARINElife

T: 0044 777 2342 758   E: ed.drewitt at marine-life.org.uk

Editors’ notes:

1. MARINElife is a charity, established to co-ordinate and develop a
growing portfolio of cetacean
 and seabird research and monitoring projects, chiefly in European Waters.
Focal areas of work
 include whale, dolphin and seabird monitoring from ferries and other
‘ships of opportunity’, and
research on Balearic Shearwaters, Bottlenose Dolphins and White-beaked
Dolphins.  Through
these projects and collaborations, we aim to further the conservation of
the wildlife of oceans and
coasts through scientific investigation and educational activities.

MARINElife continues to work in partnership with a number of other
research groups,
spearheading an international initiative, the Atlantic Research Coalition
(ARC) that aims to
describe changes in the status of whales and dolphins at a European scale.
Further information
on MARINElife can be found by visiting our website at marine-life.org.uk
 [http://mailstudio.rock7.com/link.php?M=1713090&N=5126&L=885&F=T] and
further information on the North East Cetacean Project can
be found at northeastcetaceans.org.uk

2. DFDS is Northern Europe’s leading integrated shipping and logistics
network. DFDS Seaways
passenger ferries and cruise-ferries operate between Copenhagen and Oslo
[http://mailstudio.rock7.com/link.php?M=1713090&N=5126&L=2979&F=T], on the
North Sea
[http://mailstudio.rock7.com/link.php?M=1713090&N=5126&L=2980&F=T] and
English channel
[http://mailstudio.rock7.com/link.php?M=1713090&N=5126&L=2982&F=T]), and
the Baltic Sea
 [http://mailstudio.rock7.com/link.php?M=1713090&N=5126&L=2985&F=T]). The
roll-on roll-off freight
service operates across the North Sea, English Channel and Baltic Sea with
additional container
 transport services operating through DFDS Logistics. Further information
on DFDS Seaways can
be found by visiting our website at dfdsseaways.co.uk

3. DFDS Seaways’ passenger routes offer members of the public, as
passengers, opportunities to
see dolphins for themselves in the North Sea and the English Channel.

4.The Harbour Porpoise is our smallest cetacean in UK waters reaching no
more than 1.7 metres
and is usually found in small groups of 2 to 10 in more shallow waters
around the coastline. It is
difficult to spot and monitor as it only briefly surfaces often showing
off little more than a glimpse
of the dorsal fin which is best spotted in calm waters. Numbers vary
annually but most sightings
occur during late summer.

For more information on the Harbour Porpoise, please visit:


5. Members of the public can report their own sightings of dolphins,
porpoises and whales seen
off the south coast of England at

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