Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Marine Stranding Network once again held its successful conference recently to a crowd of nearly 100 delegates, celebrating the incredible marine mammal research in Cornwall and the Scillies this year. The annual conference was held on the 26th October, hosted by TruroCollege, and organised by Cornwall Wildlife Trust Marine Strandings Network. It provided all the volunteers an opportunity to meet, share stories and listen to some of the country’s leading experts talking about serious issues facing the Cornwall marine mammals such as entanglement and mass strandings.
Cornwall sadly sees an enormous number of dead animals washed up along our coastline over the year. Examining these carcasses through the Marine Stranding Network can provide valuable data about the state of our marine environment such as pollution, issues with fisheries and dolphin diseases.
Abby Crosby, Marine Conservation Officer for the Trust says,
“Our volunteers are leading this very important research into what is killing our marine mammals, basking sharks and turtles in Cornish waters. To protect the marine mammals around Cornwall we have to know what’s affecting them, and without the huge dedication of volunteers this just wouldn’t be possible”.
Speakers from the Institute of Zoology, London, addressed the potential causes of mass dolphin and whale stranding events, such as that seen in the Fal in 2008, and a representative from Wales gave a fascinating talk on how the professionals deal with marine mammal entanglement.
The Marine Stranding Network is funded by Frugi, a popular Cornish organic children’s clothing company. Their vital support enables Cornwall Wildlife Trust to train and support a team of over 100 volunteers around the county and run events such as the forum and training sessions. The event also celebrated MSN volunteer Jes Hirons who presented the Trust with a cheque for over £600 from her three week trek around Cornwall to raise money for research into stranded seals.
More details on the presentations and talks given at the conferences this year can be found on the Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Marine Strandings Network website www.cwtstradings.org. If you find a live-stranded animals please report it to BDMLR on (01825) 765546 and dead strandings to the MSN Hotline on 0345 201 2626. Both numbers are covered every day of the year by volunteers.