Marine Protected Areas
The expertise of DWT staff and volunteers, coupled with unparalleled local knowledge built up over many decades of marine work enabled us to play a significant role in establishing the first few Marine Protected Areas in Dorset’s waters.
Kimmeridge © Mark Heighes
A Dorset Wildlife Trust-led project mapped large areas of the Dorset seabed for the first time, which enabled important sites for marine wildlife to be pinpointed.
This massive survey involved first undertaking a high resolution sonar survey of the seabed, which revealed incredible detail. This was backed up by a check of what was really on the seabed through the work of hundreds of volunteer divers, grab samples and remote cameras.
The project generated a large number of video surveys of the seabed and huge amount of data and samples, enabling us to have a much better understanding of the sensitivity of seabed marine wildlife communities to the many human activities in our seas. This understanding was critical evidence in establishing Dorset’s first Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
Dorset Wildlife Trust continues to work to complete a wider network of MPAs to enable our marine ecosystems to recover.
Spiny-seahorse © Emma Rance
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