Recently we've been very lucky to spot a great deal of sea life; from Sunfishes, to Dolphins and Phosphorescents each time our trainees have been amazed at what's in our own local waters. So it was great news when we recieved accreditation as a recommended boat operator by the Sea Watch Foundation.
Sea Watch Foundation - Press Release
National accreditation for Plymouth Sail Training Project
Morvargh Sailing Project, based in Plymouth, has been awarded accreditation as a Recommended Boat Operator by the national marine conservation research charity Sea Watch.
The project, which provides experiential learning opportunities for young people aged 14-25 in the South West, first became involved with Sea Watch when they sent pictures of an unusual dolphin for identification. It is only the second boat operator in Devon to hold the accreditation.
Recommended Boat Operator status is only awarded to those who abide by the Marine Code of Conduct to prevent disturbance to marine mammals, and who contribute to Sea Watch's monitoring work by providing sightings data of whales, dolphins and porpoises they see.
Matt Barraud, Director & Skipper of Morvagh Sailing, was on board with a group of 13-14year olds when they first saw the unusual dolphins leaping off Penlee Point, Plymouth in May. Sea Watch was able to identify one from pictures as a striped dolphin – one of very few live sightings in recent years. Striped dolphins are more often seen in Mediterranean waters.
Matt said: "The group were just bowled over by the sight. The dolphins stayed with us for an hour or more, tail slapping and jumping. It was a magnificent sight, and the response of the youngsters shows how important they regard marine life. By including sightings records on all our training trips we are adding another dimension to the training we provide."
Morvargh Sailing Project will also be actively supporting National Whale and Dolphin Watch (NWDW) which this year is being held between July 27 and 29. NWDW calls on members of the public to watch from land and sea and report their sightings to help build up a snapshot of the distribution of whales, dolphins and porpoises around the UK.
Sea Watch Sightings Officer Danielle Gibas said: "The data that boat operators contribute is vital in helping us build up our database which is then used to determine trends in populations of whales, dolphins and porpoises around the UK and to help shape effective conservation policy.
"They are also helping to raise awareness that you do not even need to leave our coastal waters to see some of the world's most spectacular wildlife. Our research is helping scientists to more fully understand our marine mammals so that they can be better protected from activities such as shipping, energy farms, fishing, drilling and leisure activities like watersports."
To find out more about about Sea Watch, its list of accredited boat operators and how to take part in National Whale and Dolphin Watch go to www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk
Sea Watch is the holder of the largest database of whales and dolphins in Europe and advises on conservation policy in the UK and in Europe.
Written by Matthew Barraud
Monday, 09 July 2012 Hits: 672