It is in everyone’s interest to protect the natural environment and ensure that growth is sustainable, in other words, making sure that meeting the needs of the present does not compromise the needs of future generations.
Sustainable practice collectively can have a huge positive impact in a very short period of time. As well as our carbon emissions, we have to consider the impact of our anchors, antifoul and waste, creating plastic-free initiatives, with pressure on our suppliers.
Working alongside key partners like the Green Blue and RYA sustainability teams, and locally with Plastic Free North Devon, the Ocean Conservation Trust, Exeter University and the North Devon Biosphere Reserve to name but a few, we are sharing the workload to increase Ocean Literacy.
There is much to do and creative thinking is required. As a multi-disciplined organisation we are driven to inspire positive change, and provided we give nature the chance, it is incredibly adept at bouncing back.
Long Snouted Seahorse - Credit to Mark Parry, Ocean Conservation Trust
We know we have a massive ocean plastic issue and it is having a devastating impact on marine life. Every piece of plastic waste you see fluttering in a tree or at the side of the road, if it is not collected, it will find its way to a stream, then a river and then the ocean.
It can become so fragmented it ultimately becomes microplastic and enters the food chain. This includes our food chain. One of our founding project friends had her blood tested after 10 years at sea only to find trace elements of 29 of the 35 chemicals banned due to their toxicity in her bloodstream.
The issues are upstream.
As ambassadors for the 5Gyres institution, we follow their protocol for data collection and analysis of plastic pollution. Using our Manta Trawl we sieve the samples and document them into classes of waste and sizes. The analysis from each collection provides insight as to the source. From now until 2030 we are trawling zones in the Celtic Sea and Bristol Channel to find out what pollution travels on our daily tides, and whether it is improving or worsening.
An area of specific interest are the waters within the Biosphere reserve. The Bristol Channel has the second highest tidal range in the world, over ten metres in North Devon. This offers a unique insight along with specific challenges. We are looking for what directly impacts our local marine world, from the local towns to the big cities all along the North and South coasts of the Channel. Our aim is to understand the changes over the next ten years.
This data program is part of a global network of like-minded individuals who want to take action against plastic pollution. We share and collaborate on research, policies and solutions. With growing numbers of groups and organisations fighting the cause, there is now significant progress being made. Data collected locally can be applied locally, inspiring targeted discussions that lead to positive action on land and water.
Located within the UNSECO Biosphere Reserve. we explore one of the most beautiful locations in the British Isles to better understand the impact of plastic pollution in the Bristol Channel.
NDMP provided assistive technology in to monitor this vital ecosystem during the SailGP event in July 2021. Using an ROV we were able to dive beneath the surface to get a better view of the ocean floor and the incredible work of the seagrass restoration project in Jenny Cliff, to the East of Plymouth Sound. Broadcast live to the event arena back on land, we look forward to the 2022 event to see how this specific area of interest has developed.
The North Devon Marine Project joins forces with Plastic Free North Devon to conduct a marine science survey on microplastics in the waters at Ilfracombe Harbour beach. We were also joined by the North Devon Biosphere and British Divers Marine Life Rescue to help raise awareness for ocean literacy and conservation in our local area, promoting citizen science through local volunteers.
Here's what we discovered.
There are more and more sightings of ghost nets, plastic pollution, Cetacean entanglements and injuries reported. It is imperative that we all know what to do and who to call. Marine life, getting mixed up with our own, can be life-threatening to all involved. There is critical guidance to follow. We are not only insured, but also experienced to deal with these situations. So please stay clear, call it in, and follow the guidance below.
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) was formed in 1988, when a few like-minded divers got together in response to a mass mortality of common seals in the Wash area of East Anglia, to do what they could for the rescue effort in response to the Phocine Distemper Virus epidemic that resulted in thousands of deaths.
Since 1988, BDMLR has been involved in the rescue of marine wildlife after every major marine disaster, including the Braer shipwreck in Shetland, the Sea Empress grounding in Milford Haven, and the Napoli shipwreck in Dorset. BDMLR are available throughout the UK, responding to injuries, abandonment and disentanglement of marine mammals as well as operating facilities such as their new seal sanctuary in Cornwall.
How you can help
If you find a seal, dolphin, whale or other marine life stranded or in distress, please help by keeping yours and others distance and calling the RESCUE HOTLINE on 01825 765546. BDMLR medics will arrive on scene to help. You can learn more about their incredible work by clicking on their logo.
Based from within the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, the OCT are working tirelessly on projects globally to protect our Ocean. You can lean more about marine science and wildlife, as well as seagrass restoration and Ocean optimism, by clicking the links below.
Ghost nets, or ghost gear, refers to lost or discarded fishing gear (lost or discarded fishing gear including line, nets and pots). The name comes from the net continuing to harm or kill wildlife, long after it's been left behind. Around 640,000 tonnes of ghost fishing gear is reportedly discarded into the ocean every year. Discarded nets, lines and other fishing industry gear becomes difficult to see once in the water, or can be misconstrued as food by some marine life.
The UK's ghost gear is the second largest source of marine debris, with over 1250 kilometres of nets being discovered in UK waters annually. Over 150,000 seals and cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) are thought to be killed each year by ghost gear. This also extends to many species of marine birds and larger fish species such as sharks.
What if you see a net or fishing debris?
Should you spot ghost netting, please give us a call detailing your exact location (GPS / What Three Words) and any images that may help our search. The crew at NDMP might be able to retrieve the debris before it causes harm, if we can find it quickly enough. The issue with ghost nets or gear is the danger of wildlife become entangled, potentially leading to fatalities.
It's import you don't attempt to remove the debris yourself; nets can be weighted and heavy, anchored to rock etc and lines could have hooks or other dangerous debris caught within. If you find ghost gear, please call the REMOVAL HOTLINE on 07836 205 762
The sooner it's called in, and with an exact location, the sooner it can be secured and retrieved. It's all upcycled! From Sunglasses to Kayaks, companies right here in Devon and Cornwall make use of it, so please call it in!
Ghost netting: Jade Powis
North Devon Marine are proud to support SHiFT, created by Emily Penn, ocean advocate and eXXpedition Co-Founder. The SHiFT method is designed to help people find their role in solving the world’s most pressing issues.
For Emily, that shift led her from a career in architecture to one dedicated to solving the issue of ocean plastic pollution. The more time Emily spent at sea, the more she realised the solutions start on land.
Through her workshops, curated experiences and sailing expeditions, she’s worked with individuals, businesses and governments around the world to develop solutions, from sea to source.
She developed the SHiFT method, which is a journey of discovery to understand the crux of a problem and weigh up where we have the biggest opportunity to make an impact.
Find hundreds of solutions to plastic pollution at www.shift.how
What to do if you find a live otter or cub in distress
If you have found an otter it is critical to get the animal to the best possible place for care. The first few hours can mean the difference between life or death to these vulnerable mammals. Please call the contact below – advice will then be given over the phone after asking a few basic questions about the specific animal and scenario. UKWOT will then make arrangements for the animal to be collected, as they require very specialist care. All of the orphaned cubs are released, fully fit, back into the wild after a year-long rehabilitation program, as they do not make good pets.
PLEASE PHONE 01769 540560 OR 07866 462820.
After finding an otter, please also follow the simple advice below until you have spoken to UKWOT:
– Do not give the otter normal milk – otters are lactose intolerant and it may choke them
– Do not handle the otter – apart from placing it in a box with a blanket/towel for them to lay on and hide
– Keep all pets, dogs and other animals away from the otter
– Keep the otter in a very dark and quiet area where it won’t be disturbed
– Do not put the otter near a radiator or anywhere it will get too hot; or, conversely, anywhere it will get too cold. Bear in mind that the blanket or towel placed in its box will be used by the animal to warm up
For further information and contact numbers across the UK, please click here.
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Woodland view, Coxleigh Barton, Devon, England, UK EX31 4JL
Pick up the phone or send a message anytime. If we are not available we'll get back to you as soon as we can.