Condor Ferries is lending its support to UK-based charity MARINElife, assisting the charity in its research into the host of wildlife living in the English Channel, and especially the waters around the Channel Islands.
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, starting January 4th. 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 these waters.
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.
MARINElife is a charity, established to co-ordinate and develop a growing portfolio of cetacean and seabird research and monitoring projects, chiefly in European Waters. Focal areas of work include whale, dolphin and seabird monitoring from ferries and other 'ships of opportunity', and research on Balearic Shearwaters, Bottlenose Dolphins and White-beaked Dolphins. Through these projects and collaborations, we aim to further the conservation of the wildlife of oceans and coasts through scientific investigation and educational activities.
MARINElife continues to work in partnership with a number of other research groups, spearheading an international initiative, the Atlantic Research Coalition (ARC) that aims to describe changes in the status of whales and dolphins at a European scale. Further information on MARINElife can be found by visiting our website at marine-life.org.uk
2. Condor Ferries
Condor Ferries was founded in 1964 and operates a year-round passenger and freight service connecting the UK through Poole, Weymouth and Portsmouth to the Channel Islands through Guernsey and Jersey and the port of St Malo in France. Each year Condor Ferries carries more than 1 million passengers, 200,000 passenger vehicles and 100,000 freight vehicles as well as exporting tonnes of local produce.
Condor Ferries is also an active member of the communities within which it operates and supports numerous organisations, sports and charities through sponsorship and travel. condorferries.co.uk