Friday, 8 April 2016

Potential for mass strandings of cetaceans around Cornwall and S Wales Coast!

Sea Trust 

The British and French Navies are working together on an exercise that starts off the south coast of Cornwall that includes anti submarine warfare and continues into the outer Bristol Channel with gunnery and amphibious landings along the South Pembrokeshire and Carmarthen Coast. …
We are extremely concerned that the exercise could result in mass strandings of cetaceans as we have monitored these sea areas over the past 12 years. 

On several occasions we have encountered very large pods of Common Dolphins in these sea areas including a super-pod of a thousand plus animals which featured on the BBC "One show" in October 2014. .Ex Welsh Assembly Government Environment Minister Jane Davidson and her husband Guy witnessed a similar huge pod of Common Dolphins with us. The fact that there may be large concentrations of animals there is a documented fact. Clearly there is potential for a major incident here.

Back in 2008 a mass stranding of Common Dolphins occurred in Cornwall after military exercises that the UK's top cetacean scientists  were convinced resulted to them.

Interestingly; The Royal Navy are said to be in touch with the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme to keep them informed of their plans should any dolphins end up stranded.
CSIP are mainly concerned with dead dolphins whereas We, Sea Trust are the ones who have been monitoring them in Pembrokeshire Waters for the past twelve years. Its a bit like getting the opinion of the undertaker before consulting the Doctor.
This is hardly reassuring as once dolphins start stranding the damage is done! The message appears to be that if cetaceans die as a side effect of the exercise then hard luck

Clearly we should have been consulted and there is obviously a lack of awareness about who does what where. Lets hope we are wrong! If anyone out there sees any signs of distressed or stranded animals please let us know on: ASAP!