Tag Archives: marine

Sussex seabed set to be leased from Queen to create marine park

Sky News reports the first-of-its-kind project will aim to help regenerate vital habitats, fight climate change and boost the economy. The area was once home to a vast kelp forest, stretching across 172 square kilometres, but 90% of it has been lost in recent decades.

The move could also be the first step in an even bigger project: the creation of a Sussex Bay marine park stretching along the entire coast of East Sussex and West Sussex.

UK to trial ‘highly protected marine areas’ in win for ocean campaigners

The Guardian reports the UK government has announced plans to increase protection of wildlife and habitats by banning fishing and other damaging activities from a handful of selected marine sites off the coast of England.

The pilot scheme of at least five highly protected marine areas (HPMAs), announced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, was welcomed by the Wildlife Trusts as a “historic” move that would allow degraded underwater habitats to recover and set a new standard for marine protection. 

Joanna Lumley blasts wind farms for turning dolphins deaf

THE TIMES reports the actress is campaigning for an end to the detonation of submerged bombs during the construction of wind farms, after fears that the blasts deafen marine mammals. She has joined with conservation charities to say that this approach is “crazy”. A vast quantity of live explosives still lies in the seas around Britain, many dumped by Nazi bombers that failed to find their targets. 

Bottlenose dolphins photo by Gregory “Slobirdr” Smith under creative commons.

Jellyfish bloom reports soar from Cornwall to the Outer Hebrides

The Guardian reports busy beaches and warm, calm seas fuel sightings of lion’s manes, compasses and moons. From a “mile-long” swarm in Devon to warnings to swimmers in the Outer Hebrides, it seems jellyfish are difficult to ignore this summer.

High temperatures, calm and warm seas and packed beaches have resulted in large numbers of reports of jellyfish blooms around the UK coast, and combined with a glut of the plankton on which they feed, some are reaching record sizes, experts said. At the fishing town of Brixham, Devon, one kayaker and photographer witnessed what he described as a mile-long mass of compass jellyfish. They have also been spotted in large numbers along the Cornish coast. 

£2.5m project to help Solent wildlife will also tackle climate change

Photo of short snouted seahorse (one of two UK species) by prilfish under creative commons.

Portsmouth News reports the stretch of water between the Isle of Wight and the mainland has been identified as one of five spots in the UK to benefit from a £2.5m project funded by Natural England and the EU. Seahorses, native oysters, stalked jellyfish and seagrass are among the wildlife that will be protected by the new Recreation Remedies scheme.

Tim Ferrero from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust welcomed the news. He said: ‘Seagrass beds are an immensely important type of habitat for both people and wildlife. 

Kelp! Sir David Attenborough rides to the rescue of seahorses

THE TIMES reports Sir David Attenborough has been drawn into a row with fishermen over plans to ban them from trawling to allow the creation of breeding grounds for seahorses and other rare sealife. The broadcaster is backing the restoration of a vast “underwater forest” of kelp in one of Britain’s biggest marine rewilding projects. Dense thickets of brown kelp, a type of seaweed, are an ideal nursery and feeding ground for seahorses, cuttlefish, lobster, sea bream, bass and many other species. 

River Thames home to 138 seal pups, finds annual count

The Guardian reports it has been a highway, a sewer and was declared biologically dead in the 1950s but the River Thames is now a nursery for 138 baby seals, according to the first comprehensive count of pups.

Scientists from ZSL analysed photographs taken from a specially-chartered light aircraft to identify and count harbour seal pups, which rest on sandbanks and creeks around the Thames estuary, downstream from London, during the summer, shortly after they are born.