A ferry carrier has offered to help a research group which aims to identify and record marine animals in European Atlantic waters. MARINElife, a conservation charity, is involved in tracking population trends of whales, dolphins and porpoises, alongside monitoring movements of sharks and seabirds. Fastnet Line is helping researchers to conduct an important study into the conservation of marine life. It will support scientific surveys on the Swansea to Cork route during July and August this year.
The experts can use Fastnet Line’s ferry Julia to collect data about sea creatures. The route from Swansea to Cork crosses a range of marine habitats and the team is hoping to better understand the movements of marine animals through the study. The first of four surveys will take place on July 7. Adrian Shepherd, chairman of MARINElife Trustees, said: “The route from Swansea to Cork crosses a range of marine habitats and we hope it will generate many sightings of cetaceans and seabirds. “These include two important species we monitor, the White-Beaked Dolphin and the Balearic Shearwater.”
The charity has also been helped by Brittany Ferries, P&O and DFDS Seaways, carrying spotters on routes across the Bay of Biscay, English Channel and North Sea. He added: “By using a standardised approach across multiple ferry routes, we are able to use the data to build a picture of the marine environment in the European Atlantic.”