Marine Biology Study
I joined the Wildlife Trust Marine Biology Dive team for a two day exploration of the Northumberland coast line, centred around the Durham area. Durham Heritage Coast in the north east is a prime example of nature’s ability to recover; just 20 years ago this site was desolate, smothered by decades of colliery waste dumping. However, following the closing of the pits and the hard work of the Turning The Tide partnership, the most incredible transformation is happening beneath the waves. The seabed here is currently unprotected and the site is not yet officially proposed as an MCZ; the Trust believe it should be and so the team aim to collect the evidence necessary to ensure protection of this unique coastline. The team dived this site in July 2016, finding lobsters, nudibranchs and soft corals.
By deploying a dive team, the hope is to provide new data and evidence for inclusion in the third phase of designating Marine Conservation Zones. The Trust's purpose is to ensure these places can be included in future discussions over marine protection, and their conservation secured.
The dive team - five professional divers and marine ecologists - undertake exploratory scientific surveys in a bid to better understand the UK’s marine environment and help protect it for the future. They gather evidence and data from areas where existing knowledge about marine habitats is limited.
The Wildlife Trusts, at the forefront of practical marine conservation and data submission, is the first non government organisation to commission a professional dive team to gather evidence with the aim of protecting our marine wildlife and the habitats on which it relies. All the data gathered will be submitted to Natural England.
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Heading out to Durham
The Wildlife Trust's Dive Team photographed by John Ferguson