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.
The Big Shark Pledge: Shark Trust’s new campaign kicks off with a call for support
With the ink still drying on last week’s landmark listing of nearly 100 species of sharks on Appendix II of CITES, the Shark Trust insists that this is not the time for shark conservation to take a break. The UK-based NGO this week launches its biggest-ever concerted campaign to tackle the overfishing of oceanic sharks. They are calling on people across the world to join the call for stricter controls on high seas fisheries.
The Big Shark Pledge is at the heart of an ambitious set of campaign actions. Working to secure science-based catch limits on all sharks and rays affected by the international high seas fishing fleet. The pledge will build the largest campaigning community in shark and ray conservation history to support a raft of policy actions over the vital years ahead.
Many of our best known and much-loved sharks make their home on the high seas. In our shared ocean, these oceanic sharks and rays face a very real threat from a huge international fleet of industrial-scale fishing vessels. Research published in early 2021 confirmed that over three-quarters of oceanic sharks and rays are now at risk of extinction due to the destructive impact of overfishing. They have declined by 71% over the last 50 years.
The Shark Trust is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year and has a long history of securing positive changes for sharks, skates and rays. The Big Shark Pledge will build on the success of their NoLimits? campaign which underpinned landmark catch limits on Blue Sharks and Shortfin Mako in the North Atlantic.
“While the listing of so many species on the CITES trade agreement is certainly a positive step, there remains a huge challenge in ensuring that sustainable practices are embedded in international fisheries.” says Shark Trust Director of conservation, Ali Hood. “Sharks on the high seas face extraordinary pressure from excessive fishing practices. This has to be addressed through international agreements such as those secured for Blues and makos.”
There is hope and a feeling of momentum in the shark conservation community. Just last week, in addition to the new CITES listings, the Shark Trust, working with partners in the Shark League, secured the first-ever international quota for South Atlantic Mako at ICCAT meeting in Portugal. The new campaign from the Shark Trust aims to push forwards from here, engaging a wave of support through the Big Shark Pledge to bolster policy action.
This will be a long-term international and collaborative effort. Forging a pathway to rebuild populations of high-seas sharks and rays. By putting science at the heart of shark conservation and fisheries management. And making the vital changes needed to set populations on the road to recovery.
Shark Trust CEO Paul Cox says of the Big Shark Pledge “It’s designed to give everyone who cares about the future of sharks the chance to add their voice to effective and proven conservation action. By adding their name to the Pledge, supporters will be given opportunities to apply pressure at key moments to influence change.”
Fourth Element X Sea Shepherd
This year on Black Friday, fourth element announced their new partnership with Sea Shepherd, encouraging people to move away from mindless purchasing and to opt-in to supporting something powerful.
For 40 years Sea Shepherd, a leading non-profit organisation, has been patrolling the high seas with the sole mission to protect and conserve the world’s oceans and marine wildlife. They work to defend all marine wildlife, from whales and dolphins, to sharks and rays, to fish and krill, without exception.
Inspired by Sea Shepherd’s mission, fourth element have created a collection of fourth element X Sea Shepherd limited edition products for ocean lovers and protectors, with 15% of every sale going to the Sea Shepherd fund to help continue to drive conservation efforts globally.
“Working with Sea Shepherd gives fourth element the opportunity to join forces with one of the largest active conservation organisations in the world to try to catalyse change in people’s attitudes and behaviour. Fourth Element’s products are designed, developed and packaged with the intention of minimising our impact on the ocean environment, and with this partnership, we will be supporting the work of Sea Shepherd, in particular in their work on dealing with the twin threats of Ghost fishing nets and plastic pollution.”
Jim Standing fourth element co-founder
Read fourth element’s Sea Shepherd Opinion Piece HERE
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