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Volunteer opportunity, Christmas message, FXU MarineWatch merchandise, A festive gift of support, Talk at the Royal British Legion, In the marine news, Data call, Marine mammal crime still an issue.
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December 2018 Newsletter

*** Volunteer Opportunity! ***


We're looking for a volunteer who is enthusiastic, and passionate about the natural world, to help support our work by raising small funds, and organising attendance at events.

Sounds like something you can do? Then see our job advertisement for more info.

And for a full job description, please email us at: info@marine-life.org.uk

Christmas Message


MARINElife trustees and staff wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and peaceful New Year.

We thank all of you, whether it be as a supporter, surveyor, Wildlife Officer, or volunteer, for your continued support and dedication throughout 2018, and we sincerely hope you continue into 2019.

Best wishes from MARINElife’s trustees and staff.

FXU MarineWatch Merchandise


For those in the southwest, FXU Marinewatch has made their t-shirts (available in small and medium), tote bags, and our 2019 calendars available to purchase online.

Once purchased, you can pick them up from FXU. They have limited stock, so don't miss out, and all profits are going towards supporting MARINElife!

A Festive Gift of Support


Yes, apparently it’s going to be Christmas soon! Seriously, where did this year go?

So, as is customary this time of year, here’s a timely reminder of how you can support us while you do your gift shopping.

For gifts with a specific marine theme, you can purchase one of our lovely 2019 calendars, full of great photos taken by our recent competition entrants. There’s also our apparel line, full of warm jumpers and hoodies, and you can prep for the spring with the several T-shirts we have to offer. Finally, how about a voucher for one of our introductory Identification of Marine Mammals and Seabirds courses?


For the more generic buying, you can choose to Give as You Live, and raise free funds for us by shopping online at over 4,000 retailers. Alternatively, you can shop through Amazon Smile, and generate donations for us that way.

You can even support us by sending cards. Forget about having to worry about last post days; send an e-card via dontsendmeacard.com, and as well as helping us, you’ll be reducing holiday waste too.

Whatever you choose to do, we hope you have a fantastic holiday season!

Talk at the Royal British Legion


I arrived at the Somerset Royal British Legion, Pawlett, branch at 2pm to set up and be ready for my talk to start at 2.30pm, and was warmly greeted by Morag Stockton who organises the talks.

I began by introducing myself and how I got involved with the charity, starting out as a volunteer, then surveyor before coordinating the charities events. I then became a trustee and eventually my current position of chairman. I then explained the work of MARINElife and why we do it!

The audience consisted of around 25 members of the Legion, and all listened intently throughout the talk. The videos were especially well-received, as were the photos used in the slides. I explained that it’s never too late to start watching wildlife, but obviously the earlier you start the better, and I regularly take my 8-year-old granddaughter with me when going on my own trips, but for MARINElife surveys, you will need to be at least 18 years old.

We had a short Q&A session at the end, followed by a welcomed cup of tea.

My thanks to Morag for inviting me along, and for the chance to inform the members of the wonderful diversity of marine wildlife to be found around our shores and in our seas.

Rick Morris (MARINElife chair of trustees)

In The Marine News


New study shows the potential of using seabirds to measure ocean currents.

Dramatic change in seabirds' winter food source over past 30 years.

Orcas share personality traits with humans, chimpanzees.

Chinese scientists unlock structural secrets of whale baleen.

Call of rare storm petrel chick recorded in Outer Hebrides.

How the gulls took over urban Britain.

Cefas and University of Exeter launch bluefin tuna tagging programme.

Puffins are fatter in winter than when rearing young in the summer.

Data Call


A quick shout out to our amazing, and dedicated volunteers.

Together with your help, we completed over 100 surveys in 2018!

Your time and commitment is invaluable in obtaining this important data on our marine environment, and helping to raise awareness of the great biodiversity we are lucky enough to observe in our seas.

Just a reminder that if you have completed a survey with us in 2018, but haven’t sent in your data yet, please do so by the end of this year for its inclusion in our database.

Thank you all! Your dedication has been invaluable, and here's to an equally productive 2019!

In Other News: Marine Mammal Crime Still an Issue


The publication of the Wildlife and Countryside Link and Wales Environment Link’s second annual wildlife crime report at the beginning of December detailed incidents of wildlife crime in 2017. For wildlife crime in general, the number of reported incidents rose by around 10%, yet the number of recorded prosecutions fell from 22 to just 7. MARINElife, along with many other wildlife experts, warns that the trend of such low convictions for wildlife crimes is likely to continue unless key problems are addressed.

For marine mammals, barring exceptions, it’s an offence to deliberately capture, kill, or disturb cetaceans, and seals are protected by the Conservation of Seals Act 1970. Additionally, cruelty to marine mammals can be an offence under the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996. However, the Link report notes that reported cases rarely lead to prosecution.

On the positive side, incidents have had more of a public profile on social media and in the news, resulting in more awareness of the issue, plus the development of a code of conduct for when interacting around marine mammals.

The Link report goes on to highlight further actions that need to be tackled in order to mitigate marine wildlife disturbance.

The full report can be read here.

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