DWT needs help to turn the tide on marine wildlife decline
Thursday 26th May 2016
Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) has launched a new initiative to improve the protection of Dorset’s marine wildlife, following concerns that that in recent decades our seas have seen rapid and dramatic declines in marine habitats and wildlife.
DWT has created The Dorset Marine Conservation Fund to increase investment in marine conservation to help secure the future of our fabulous marine environment through establishing more protected areas, backed by marine survey work, awareness raising and installation of interactive displays and activities at our Fine Foundation Marine Centre in Kimmeridge Bay.
Most of the treasures in our waters are hidden from view
DWT’s Living Seas Manager, Peter Tinsley, said, “Our marine conservation programme doesn’t receive any external funding and badly needs additional support. Most of us recognise how important our coast and seas are for tourism, food and local recreation, but we still know very little about our waters as most of its treasures are hidden from view.”
Marine Protected Areas are needed to protect iconic parts of Dorset's coast
More than 80% of marine habitats and species in European waters have been reported as not in good environmental status. To try and reverse this decline and allow marine eco-systems to recover, a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) needs to be completed to include areas of the iconic Dorset coast, such as Studland Bay and Lyme Bay.
Our ocean giants are struggling for survival
Peter continues, “Studland Bay is home to seahorses living in the seagrass, and is one of only two known nursery grounds for the endangered undulate ray. Part of Lyme Bay has a population of foraging white-beaked dolphins, and the area has been described as a ‘mega fauna’ hot spot, with important numbers of harbour porpoise, common dolphin, minke wale and basking shark. So far there are no areas of English waters protected for these magnificent creatures. MPA’s would give some protection from damaging activities which are causing our ocean giants to struggle for survival.”
DWT needs ongoing investment in marine conservation
DWT has worked hard to help establish the foundation of England’s network of MPA’s and to engage with the public, but now needs ongoing investment in marine conservation to ensure this work can continue.
To help the marine experts at Dorset Wildlife Trust reverse the decline of wildlife in Dorset’s coastal waters, we are asking for donations to The Dorset Marine Conservation Fund. To donate, visit www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/dmcf , or phone 01305 264620.
For more information please contact Sally Welbourn at Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01305 264620.
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
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.
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