From January 2014, Condor Ferries is providing free passage to trained MARINElife volunteers to conduct monthly marine wildlife surveys on ferry routes from Weymouth to Guernsey and Jersey, as well as services from Portsmouth. The return routes each cover over 200 miles of the English Channel, providing MARINElife surveyors with an extraordinary chance to gather data on the wildlife in thesewaters.
MARINElife research from both small and large vessels has already indicated how diverse the waters between the UK and the Channel Islands can be for marine wildlife, including Bottlenose Dolphins, and the regular monitoring surveys will be able to accurately gauge the variety and quantity of the marine life in the area forming the basis for future conservation efforts.
Adrian Shephard from MARINElife said: “We are extremely grateful to Condor Ferries for this opportunity. In discussions with the company, it is clear they have a real passion for the marine environment as do many people who regularly travel between the Channel Islands and the UK mainland”.
Guests on board Condor Ferries’ services to the Channel Islands are already treated to regular sightings of dolphins and seabirds during the crossings - Guernsey and Jersey provide a great variety of habitats to provide food and nesting sites and are home to many species of bird, including puffins and fulmar. MARINElife’s research will help provide further information about these fascinating species to guests on board, adding further interest to their journey.
Alicia Andrews, Sales and Marketing Director at Condor Ferries commented: “We are delighted to be working with MARINElife on this project. Our guests and crew are already very used to spotting some of the UK’s most interesting sealife whilst on board, so we are looking forward to being able to tell them even more about what they can see from the results of the research.”
“As a responsible business, it is extremely important for us to understand the extent of the marine environment in which we operate, and to assist with its conservation. We hope that this can be part of a long term partnership.”
Ferries serve as great platforms for observing marine wildlife and anyone can get involved by taking a ferry trip. With almost a third of the global dolphin and whale species occurring around the UK, memorable encounters are waiting for anyone who travels by ferry.