Victory for Sea Shepherd and Seals in Scotland
After two years of active campaigning and incredible risks, Sea Shepherd UK may no longer need to return to the North of Scotland to protect seals, at least for the next three years.
The Scottish Government has announced that starting April 1st, 2016 that:
“Killing outwith estuary limits will be prohibited for three years due to the mixed stock nature of the fishery and limited data on the composition of the catch.”
For the last two years Sea Shepherd UK has actively campaigned to protect Scotland’s Harbour and Grey seals from being killed by the UK’s most notorious seal killers – Scotland’s wild salmon netting companies, in particular Usan Salmon Fisheries Ltd (AKA Scottish Wild Salmon Company). They shot more seals than all the Scottish fish farms put together prior to Sea Shepherd small boats and crews arriving in April 2014.
Whatever the reasoning for this rapid change in policy… actual concern for wild salmon stocks – or (together with) the Scottish government feeling the pressure due to Sea Shepherd UK’s Seal Defence campaign on the Caithness and Aberdeenshire/Moray coast together with the Hunt Saboteurs Association seal campaign on the Angus coast – this is welcome news.
This Scottish Government policy change means that Sea Shepherd UK will be able to focus on other reports and evidence of the killing of seals in the UK as well as investigating other sites where marine wildlife crimes have been alleged.
Sea Shepherd UK Director Rob Read said: “With coastal wild salmon netting prohibited for 3 years this ends the legal shooting of seals by such companies and since there will be no ‘fixed engine’ salmon nets in the water it likely ends any illegal shooting of seals, especially as we now have local volunteers watching these coastal locations.”
At the peak of the campaign there were more than 70 international Sea Shepherd volunteers stationed at sites across Scotland.
The volunteers repeatedly clashed with seal shooters in often dramatic scenes, and in August last year the Press and Journal revealed the teams were using drone technology in their battle against marksmen.
Sea Shepherd UK is pursuing several prosecutions for Wildlife Crimes from evidence collected during the 2015 Seal Defence Campaign which was handed over to Police Scotland and is currently with the Procurator Fiscal’s Office.
If you have information about illegal fishing, the killing of marine mammals or illegal destruction/damage to the marine environment please email Sea Shepherd U.K. with details: email@example.com
New 60m Reel and Dive Torch Combo from Northern Diver
Northern Diver have launched a new 60m Reel & Dive Torch Combo.
The innovative Northern Diver line reel has a unique design and it has been manufactured from a combination of anodized aluminium and synthetic polymers, to make it strong, lightweight and corrosion resistant. The free-flowing spool has a thumb operated spool-lock, to ensure controlled line deployment and a ‘sprung’ reel handle. Allowing the handle to extend whilst in use, if wearing gloves but springs back to half its length, for easy storage. Supplied complete with 60m (197’) of high-vis orange reel line.
The reel also incorporates an attachment point on the top and rubber fixing band allowing you to easily mount Northern Divers Varilux Micro Dive Torch. Ideal for hands-free directional light, ideal for lining out in reduced visibility (within a wreck). Other torches of a similar size to the Micro may be mountable but you should check dimensions first.
Check out https://www.ndiver.com/60m-reel-dive-torch-combo for more.
Marine Life & Conservation
Reefs Go Live returns for new season
CCMI brings the ocean directly to classrooms around the world through live-stream lessons from underwater
In 2018, the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) launched Reefs Go Live, their innovative, flagship education programme that live-streams directly from underwater on the coral reefs in Little Cayman to students in classrooms around the world in real time. For the 2022 season, the four episodes of Reefs Go Live reached more than 107,000 viewers in 22 countries. CCMI’s Reefs Go Live team hopes to expand their reach with four new episodes and supplemental teaching resources to help integrate the material into classroom lessons.
Science Communications & Development Manager for CCMI, Beth Chafin, is excited to be part of another year of Reefs Go Live:
“Knowing we have an audience that spans the world, our team is energised as we plan and implement our Reefs Go Live season for 2023! We feel that creating a connection to the ocean and sharing the beautiful coral reefs of Little Cayman with others, both locally and abroad, is one of the most important ways to increase support for critical, timely issues such as marine protection and sustainability. At CCMI, we are fortunate to have these stunning reefs at our doorstep; not everyone is so lucky to be this connected to coral reefs, but healthy coral reefs are vitally important to everyone on earth. Bringing the ocean into classrooms and homes through Reefs Go Live allows us to share the work we do at the Little Cayman Research Centre, facilitate real-time interactions between viewers around the world and our experts in the field, and inspire the diverse audience to take positive action for the future of coral reefs.”
The first episode of 2023 will take place on Friday, 31st March at 10 am Cayman time (UTC -5h). The episode, ‘Finding Hope on our Reefs’, will feature what CCMI’s long-term monitoring of Little Cayman’s reefs shows us. The data from the annual surveys reveals important trends in reef health over time that reflect global threats and the benefits of strong local protection. Reefs Go Live hosts will explain why this annual monitoring is important and what the results tell us about the future of our coral reefs that we all depend upon. Viewers of each episode will be able to ask questions of the diver and participate in polls through the online platform to make Reefs Go Live an interactive experience.
Additional episodes for this year will run at 10 am (UTC -5h) on the following dates:
Thursday, 11th May: Adaptation on Coral Reefs
Wednesday, 24th May: Reef Resiliency & Restoration
Thursday, 8th June: World Ocean Day – 25 Years of Coral Reef Research
Registration for Reefs Go Live is free and is only required once to receive access to all episodes: https://donate.reefresearch.org/rgl2023.
Reefs Go Live provides an opportunity for students from all over the world to engage with the stunning ocean environment in its most natural format. As coral reefs around the world face unprecedented pressure, generating increased engagement with these precious ecosystems creates an opportunity to promote marine sustainability in a positive and fun way.
Reefs Go Live utilises streaming technology with underwater video and audio equipment to enable real time broadcasting from Little Cayman’s stunning coral reefs. Little Cayman, a Mission Blue Hope Spot, hosts one of the healthiest reef ecosystems in the Caribbean, which overall remains healthy and shows resiliency to climate change impacts. The broadcasts and education materials draw connections from CCMI’s current research conducted in Little Cayman to the national science curriculum and key ocean literacy principles, making CCMI’s work relevant and accessible to students and viewers of all ages, and emphasizing the relationship that we all have to coral reefs, no matter where we are.
Reefs Go Live is a free education programme that is made possible by the generosity of The Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation. To register for the broadcasts and teaching resources, please visit: https://reefresearch.org/what-we-do/education/reefs-go-live/
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