Posted by: orcaweb | May 17, 2009

ORCA and Brittany Ferries launch new initiative to help Fin Whales!

Whale and dolphin conservation charity ORCA has formed a new partnership with ferry company Brittany Ferries to take forward a groundbreaking new marine education and scientific initiative to help protect one of the largest animals ever to have graced our planet!

 

A 26 metre long Fin Whale surfaces next to the ferry!

A 26 metre long Fin Whale surfaces next to the ferry!

The Fin Whale, second in size only to the mighty Blue Whale, is one of the most amazing animals to encounter in the natural world. Yet few people realise that a sighting of this ‘denizen of the deep’ is possible, even likely, by taking a ferry crossing from Portsmouth or Plymouth to Spain, with Brittany Ferries.

 

Unfortunately, these whales are also threatened by an increasing number of human pressures, including pollution, habitat destruction, overfishing and climate change. In addition, ORCA and Brittany Ferries are particularly concerned about the effects of increasingly large and fast vessels on the whales. Current research indicates that this becoming more of a problem globally, and may cause changes in the behaviour of the animals, and, in some cases, fatal collisions with ships are being recorded.

 

Said ORCA Project Development Manager, Dylan Walker: “It is absolutely fantastic to see such a large company as Brittany Ferries taking a real and genuine interest in the marine environment and the conservation of whales.

 

Meet Lena (left) and Rachael; the dynamic duo onboard to show you whales and dolphins this summer!

Meet Lena (left) and Rachael; the dynamic duo ready to show you whales and dolphins this summer!

Not only has Brittany Ferries agreed to allow ORCA to place Wildlife Education Officers onboard this route from April – October 2009 (when the whales are at their most abundant), to talk about these amazing animals, but we will also be conducting a dedicated research project to understand what the whales are doing on this route, and how they react to the ferry. This research could provide us with some important clues as to how large vessels should ‘behave’ around these whales in order to lessen any impacts on the animals in future.”

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