Tag: dfds

Whale Tales of the North Sea 25/03/17

by on Mar.27, 2017, under North Sea

Following an invitation from DFDS, I arrived at the Royal Quays passenger terminal on Saturday morning for the ‘Whale Tales of the North Sea’ event, celebrating 10 years of DFDS and the charity ORCA working together.

I spend part of my time working for MARINElife, but I’ve also been an ORCA member for nearly two decades and NEWT’s involvement with them goes back to 2010. when I led a familiarisation trip for the wildlife officers ahead of their season onboard.  Our own Whale and Dolphin trips during the summer usually pass by one of the Newcastle-IJmuiden ferries, either as we sail out of the Tyne, or return at the end of the day, and the NEWT team enjoyed a mini-cruise to Holland in 2010 as guests of DFDS.  We’d highly recommend it 🙂

Following a packed lunch, Michaela Strachan presented a series of short clips of some of her experiences with whales and dolphins around the world, which kept all of the younger members of the audience entertained.  With only ~90 different species, cetaceans are poorly represented compared to terrestrial mammals (~4200 species), birds (~10000 species) and insects (~1000000 species, with potentially another 5-29000000 million species still to be discovered!).  What they lack in numbers they make up for in sheer size, and some of the film clips demonstrated just how big they are.

Anna Bunney from ORCA gave a presentation about the cetaceans of the North Sea and there we have an even smaller range of species.  Harbour Porpoise, Bottlenose Dolphin, White-beaked Dolphin and Minke Whale are all relatively common, but there’s a range of rarer visitors to the waters of North East England; Risso’s Dolphin, White-sided Dolphin, Killer Whale, Sperm Whale, Pilot Whale and Humpback Whale have all appeared in recent years and historical records contain some real oddities.

Educating people about the wealth of marine wildlife in the North Sea is something that ORCA and DFDS are doing really well, and the data that surveyors are gathering onboard is a valuable resource, combined with the ferry data gathered by MARINElife on other North Sea routes and the small-boat survey data from the North East Cetacean Project in Northumberland.

Many thanks to DFDS for the invitation to join them for the celebration with ORCA 🙂

If you’re not already convinced that our marine wildlife is awesome, here are a few pictures that should speak for themselves 🙂

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Minke Whale,whale watching,dolphin watching,North Sea,Northumberland,wildlife photography tuition

White-beaked Dolphin,Lagenorhynchus albirostris,North Sea,Northumberland,Northern Experience Wildlife Tours,Northern Experience Pelagics,North Sea dolphin spotting,North Sea whalewatching,North Sea whale watching,Northumberland dolphin spotting,Northumberland whalewatching,Northumberland whale watching

White-beaked Dolphin,Lagenorhynchus albirostris,Northumberland,North Sea,North Sea pelagics,dolphin watching Northumberland,whale watching Northumberland

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Bottlenose Dolphin,Tursiops truncatus,North Sea,Northumberland,Northern Experience Wildlife Tours,Northern Experience Pelagics,North Sea dolphin spotting,North Sea whalewatching,North Sea whale watching,Northumberland dolphin spotting,Northumberland whalewatching,Northumberland whale watching

Bottlenose Dolphin,Tursiops truncatus,North Sea,Northumberland,Northern Experience Wildlife Tours,Northern Experience Pelagics,North Sea dolphin spotting,North Sea whalewatching,North Sea whale watching,Northumberland dolphin spotting,Northumberland whalewatching,Northumberland whale watching

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North East Marine Wildlife Festival 2012

by on May.18, 2012, under North Sea, Northumberland

Our pelagic season will be getting underway soon, and our first offshore event this year is the final event of the North East Marine Wildlife Festival 2012

The festival is an excellent idea, and organised/sponsored by 3 organisations that we’ve worked closely with in the last few years – DFDS, ORCA and ERIC NE – so we were more than happy when asked if we could run a pelagic trip as part of the festival.  No matter how many talks you attend, how many wildlife documentaries you watch or how much time you spend on the coast looking out to sea, actually getting on a boat and experiencing the North Sea up close is still the best way to really appreciate how special it is.

I was interviewed on Radio Newcastle earlier this week, responding to the question ‘conservation – can we afford it?’.  When I look at the importance of our ecosystem, and the North Sea in particular through my work with MARINElife, the North East Cetacean Project and ERIC NE, I think the question should be ‘conservation – can we really afford not to do it?’.  A sustainable world can only be achieved through conserving what we have and sustaining our planet for future generations.  The definition of sustainability is an often contentious issue, but clients, friends and colleagues who we’ve spoken to since the phone-in all agree that conservation should be a priority for government.  We wouldn’t expect anything else 😉

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