Studland Bay was given an underwater spruce-up on Saturday when divers removed litter from the seabed as part of an international Dive against Debris. Local dive school Flippas n Fins teamed up with Dorset Wildlife Trust for the special event, which saw twenty divers collecting a variety of rubbish from plastic cups and knives to discarded rope and even an old boat rudder, from the seagrass meadow.
Divers were keen to clear away some of the rubbish on the seabed to help improve the health of the seagrass meadows
Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Marine Awareness Officer, Julie Hatcher, said: “This event was meticulously planned and all the divers followed a strict protocol to ensure there was no disturbance to the important wildlife of this sensitive site. The divers were keen to clear away some of the rubbish on the seabed to help improve the health of the seagrass meadows which are home to a multitude of wildlife including seahorses and the endangered undulate ray.”
Although the water was far from clear, divers reported seeing a variety of wildlife including spider crabs, cuttlefish eggs and plenty of the seahorses’ favourite food, mysid shrimps.
Dive organiser, Mark Ninnim, said: “We first had an idea of a beach clean and after reading about PADI’s (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) Project AWARE Dive Against Debris. Because of the sensitivity of the area, we worked very closely with Dorset Wildlife Trust. I would also like to thank Emma Wright from the National Trust for her help and Leon Coupland, of Poole Accident Repair, for providing us with sponsorship and the use of their classroom. Everyone involved with the weekend feels that they’ve done something very positive to look after the aquatic wildlife in the area.”
Studland Bay has been recommended as a Marine Conservation Zone, part of a countrywide network of marine protected areas
As seahorses are a protected species a licence is required by anyone searching for them at Studland. The full divers’ protocol and more information can be found by clicking here or by ringing DWT on 01929 481044. Studland Bay has been recommended as a Marine Conservation Zone, part of a countrywide network of marine protected areas. To show your support go to wildlifetrusts.org.uk and sign the online Petition Fish or join the new MCZ Friends group and help ensure Studland Bay is not lost from the network.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Julie Hatcher at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620 pr 01929 481044.
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About Dorset Wildlife Trust www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
Dorset Wildlife Trust is part of the Natural Weymouth and Portland Partnership; connecting people with nature
Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.
Spiny seahorse at Studland - Emma Rance