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Lucy Byrne firstname.lastname@example.org
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The team here don't just sit around talking about things, we go out and do stuff. Since we got together in 2011, we've organised or helped to organised protests and campaigns against whaling, dolphin drives, hunting of dugongs and sea turtles, captive cetaceans, the Namibian seal cull and the Canadian seal hunt. We've given talks in schools, and been at events like Whale Fest, where we'll be again this year (26/27 October 2012, Brighton www.whale-fest.com).
UK factsUK marine mammals
The most likely marine mammals you'd encounter around the UK's coastlines are whales, dolphins and porpoises. Most of the species tending to strand in the UK are odontocetes, i.e. toothed whales. The two resident species of seal in British and Irish coastal waters are both true seals, the Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus) and Common Seal (Phoca vitulina). Occasionally other (Arctic migrant) species are seen, e.g. Harp Seal (Phoca groenlandica), Ringed Seal (Phoca hispida) and Hooded Seal (Cystophora cristata).
Shark Finning - a tasteless waste
With around 90% of the 70-100 million (yes, million!) sharks killed in barbaric ways around the oceans each year being slaughtered purely for their fins, we are ashamed to say that there are still restaurants in the UK serving shark fin soup. We believe the only way to stop this is to ban the hunting of sharks outright and we will be working towards that goal - with other groups already in the arena - both here in the UK and across the world.
Disease and strandings
Little is known about disease and causes of death in marine mammals around the British Isles. Without this knowledge it is difficult to interpret the significance of sudden die-offs such as that which occurred in 1988 when about 17,000 seals were killed by the phocine distemper virus. (http://www.strandings.com/index1.html)
If you find a live stranded marine mammal contact the RSPCA immediately on 0300 1234 999 or British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) on 01825 765546. If the animal is dead then contact The Natural History Museum on The National Strandings Line: 0207 942 5155.
British Divers Marine Life Rescue are a UK based organization who rescue stranded and sick cetaceans and other marine mammals. www.bdmlr.org.uk
http://marinemanagement.org.uk/protecting/pollution/index.htm For marine pollution incidents, please call the Marine Pollution Response Team (within office hours) 0870 758 1050, (Outside office hours) 07770 977 825. Email: email@example.com
UK Marine Protected Areas
Lundy Island, home of the Puffin and situated in the Bristol Channel, was Britain’s first Marine Protected Area (MPA). A voluntary marine nature reserve was established around the island in 1971.
Marine Protected Areas were introduced to provide a practical contribution to the recover and conservation of marine species and habitats around the UK. There are currently 207 MPA's in UK waters, most of which are Special Protection Zones with marine habitats for birds. There are 94 Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) with marine habitats or species - 83 are inshore, only 9 offshore with 2 both in and offshore. For more facts about MPAs, visit http://www.ukmpas.org/faq.html.
Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) are a new type of Marine Protected Area (MPA) brought in under the UK Marine Act in 2009. The Marine Conservation Zone Project has been established by Defra, Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee to identify and recommend Marine Conservation Zones to Government. The MCZ Project will be delivered through four English Regional Projects covering the South-West (Finding Sanctuary Project), Irish Sea (Irish Sea Conservation Zones), North Sea (Net Gain Project) and Eastern Channel (Balanced Seas Project). They will work with sea users and interest groups to identify and provide recommmendations for sites to be designated as MCZs.
In total , the area coverage of all UK Marine Protected Areas (Including designated and candidate SACs, SPAs, MCZs, NTZs and MNRs) is roughly 4.1 million hectares, or around 4.0 % of UK waters. For a full list of all current UK MPA's, visit http://www.ukmpas.org/mapper.php
RESCUE, REHABILITATION AND RELEASE
UK aquariums and marine parks
Earthrace UK believes that all marine mammals should be left to thrive in their own natural habitats, not be put on display for public entertainment.
Currently, the UK has no captive whales or dolphins on display. However, there is no law prohibiting it, and ECO UK will ensure that if rumours are heard of anyone attempting to start a UK version of Sea World, we will be there to stop it.
There are aquariums and other facilities in the UK that keep seals and sea lions in captivity, although these are mainly non-releasable rescues. Other marine life kept in captivity in the UK that are not the result of rescues including sharks and manta rays.
There are many dolphins still being kept for public entertainment in aquariums in Europe, some in appalling conditions including many in France, Spain and the Balearic Islands and Turkey. We work with other groups whenever possible to support campaigns against captivity all over Europe, such as http://www.marineconnection.org and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-Attica-Zoological-Park-Dolphinarium-....