Meeting Marine Needs
Kindly Supported by
This event was on Thursday 15 October 2009, 7pm to 8.30pm, The Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR
Chaired by Nigel Winser, Executive Vice President and Head of Programmes, Earthwatch Institute.
Human activities and climate change pose multiple threats to marine species. We heard about how their conservation needs are being addressed, while also bringing social and economic benefits to the local communities.
Nienke van Geel, Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust
The waters west of Scotland are extremely productive, being home to nearly 70 per cent of all cetacean species found in Europe. However, until recently, remarkably little was known about them. The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT), based in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, was established in 1994 to conduct long-term research in the region. Since 2003, HWDT, with the help of Earthwatch volunteers, has been carrying out visual and acoustic surveys from its dedicated research vessel, Silurian, covering thousands of miles each summer. In this lecture, guests heard what the last five years of research have uncovered.
Dennis Sammy, Nature Seekers
How do you turn sea turtle hunters into conservationists? In the 1970s and 1980s, many of the local communities were hunting nesting adult turtles on the north-east beaches of Trinidad on a regular basis. This situation prompted a conservation partnership between concerned individuals and the government, and Nature Seekers was formed. The situation has now reversed, with the local community and Earthwatch volunteers patrolling the beaches on a nightly basis to protect these rare and fascinating turtles, while also collecting important scientific data on their status and health. Trinidadian Dennis Sammy recounted this successful conservation story.