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Marine Life & Conservation

Marine Conservation Society shortlisted in prestigious national awards

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The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has been shortlisted in the annual Charity Awards 2014, which are organised by Civil Society Media in the UK.

MCS has been selected for its campaign to achieve better marine protection for UK seas.

In November last year, 27 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) were created off the English coast covering 10,000 km2 , and committed to a full network of Marine Conservation Zones by 2016.

In the run up to the announcement, MCS had mobilised thousands of people to pledge their support for better marine protection and take part in a public consultation. The charity organised a rally on Westminster – which was supported by TV chef and conservationist, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – worked with politicians, and staff had appeared in front of Commons committees giving evidence on the issue.

The awards, now in their 15th year, help showcase the diverse work that takes place across the sector and, say the organisers, draw attention to the ‘remarkable impact these charitable endeavours add to our society.’

Thomas Bell, MCS’ Campaigns Manager, says simply to be shortlisted for this highly prestigious award is a huge accolade for MCS: “To see our work ranked among the very best campaigns in the charity sector is just amazing, a fantastic reward to all the supporters who put their faith in us. Success will open doors and means any charity will be taken a great deal more seriously by policy-makers, commissioners and funders who understand what winning this award says about the organisation’s work.”

MCS is up against Foodcycle and Plymouth Marine Laboratory in the Environment and Conservation category.

MCS will find out if they have won at a gala dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Thursday 12th June 2014. Staff from all the shortlisted charities will be among an audience which will include charity leaders and celebrities from the worlds of theatre, television, music and sport, including Trevor Eve, Sharon Maughan, Hermione Norris, Larry Lamb, David Harewood, Judy Parfitt and Bill Turnbull.

Marine Life & Conservation

Stranded dolphin rescued from muddy inlet

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dolphin

At around 11:40 on Friday 16 February, a lone common dolphin was reported to British Divers Marine Life Rescue circling in the shallows in an inlet at Place, near Portscatho, in Cornwall. A couple of volunteer Marine Mammal Medics were sent down initially to monitor the animal in hope it would be able to get away by itself, and further assess the situation.

After an hour and a half or so of observation, the risk of stranding increased significantly as the tide went out as the inlet is very shallow, muddy and almost completely dries out over low tide. Therefore, a larger response team was dispatched with more equipment in preparation for a stranding. Indeed, the animal did soon strand in the mud and fell onto its side, submerging the blowhole. Luckily the team were on hand to help get it upright again quickly, then bring it ashore for a health assessment and to begin providing first aid. No obvious injuries could be found and it measured 2.03m, later confirmed as female.

dolphin

The team were soon joined by two vets, who were able to confirm the animal to be in moderate nutritional condition and appeared otherwise okay following a more detailed health check, and so was suitable for the team to attempt to refloat. However, it was not possible to refloat it safely in the inlet due to the nature of the geography, substrate and tide there it seemed the most likely reason this dolphin had stranded was due to getting disoriented in this location, and would struggle to get out again. Luckily a local resident had his boat tender moored nearby and was happy to use it a transport craft to take the dolphin out to deeper water.

dolphin

With help, the boat was slid across the mud and launched near the mouth of the inlet. A surfboard was placed on one side with a soft mat on top for the dolphin to lie comfortably on during the journey. When ready, the dolphin was carried across in a tarpaulin, transferred to a mesh stretcher and loaded on board with a team of four Medics including a vet.

The boat then carefully made its way out to the mouth of the Percuil River, facing into Carrick Roads and close to open sea, which was the most ideal site for release where the chance of returning and re-dolphinstranding was lower. The dolphin was carefully hauled overboard in the stretcher and held alongside briefly, though as she started kicking strongly almost straight away it was hard to keep hold and so she was released quickly. The boat retreated and the team observed her circling in the middle of the channel until she was lost from sight. The team returned to the inlet before darkness fell.

dolphin

The area will be monitored over the weekend for re-sightings or re-strandings, but it is hoped that she will recover successfully and continue back out to sea. In the meantime BDMLR would like to thank the volunteer team, local residents and members of the public for all their efforts and support throughout this incident.

British Divers Marine Life Rescue is an international marine animal rescue organisation based in the UK and is a registered charity.  The aims of the organisation are to provide a rescue service for marine wildlife, to support existing rehabilitation centres and to develop new methods of rescue, treatment, transport and care.  Website www.bdmlr.org.uk.

Photos: Dan Jarvis

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Marine Life & Conservation

Mother of Corals Announces Ambassador Program

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Mother of Corals, a US-based non-profit organization that teaches communities worldwide to rebuild coral reefs, is launching a new Ambassador Program.

Unlock the secrets of coral restoration and become an advocate for marine conservation. This comprehensive program is designed for individuals passionate about protecting our oceans and eager to make a tangible impact on coral reef ecosystems. Participants will delve into the science, techniques, and community engagement aspects of coral restoration, gaining the base knowledge and skills necessary to contribute actively to reef rehabilitation efforts.

Join Mother of Corals in beautiful Bocas del Toro, Panama to learn about coral restoration projects from start to finish. This course is designed for students, environmentalists, divers, soon-to-be-divers and anyone seeking to become a catalyst for positive change in coral reef conservation. Join Mother of Corals on a transformative journey to become a Mother of Corals Ambassador and contribute to the preservation of one of Earth’s most vital ecosystems.

Sessions begin in April 2024! For more information, contact Mother of Corals via their website.

Photo: Avalon.Red

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