Marine Ecology and Conservation Network
Meeting 20th July 2016

Blog by Zillah Robertson

I was very happy to represent Fathoms Free at the 2nd Marine Ecology Conservation Network meeting held at Penryn campus in Cornwall. Being one of 130 delegates I met some familiar faces and lots of new ones! It was a great day with lots of opportunity to chat with others during coffee and lunch breaks (trying not to talk with my mouth full of pastries and sandwiches was difficult!) It was good to listen to a variety of enthusiastic speakers all with the same desire to protect our marine environment. I came away feeling inspired but well aware of the work that needs to be done if we are to reduce marine litter, a problem that is so huge now and affecting us globally. We can all do our bit, however small and by  working together we can make a difference.

Summary of the day’s talks:

University of Exeter
Citizen Science and Marine Biodiversity.
(Citizen Science: Members of the public contributing to scientific knowledge and
discovery by collecting data, or by analysing and interpreting findings)

Zoological Society London
Engaging tropical communities in Marine Conservation,
Madagascar and the Phillipines.

Fishing for Litter
Newlyn based initiative, harbours in Cornwall and Scotland involved. Fishermen
collecting marine litter for recycling.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust
The Marine Disturbance Register.

Sea life Trust
Supports projects locally and others including The Shark Trust, WDCS, anti
whaling, cyanide fishing.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust
Your Shore Beach Rangers
Getting 11-24 year olds involved in their Marine environment.

Fourth Element
Cornish based company selling diving clothing, also the ‘Ocean Positive’ swimwear made from ‘Econyl’ yarn, produced from recycled fishing nets.

Capturing Our Coast
Tackling the Marine Biodiversity dilemma with citizen science.

Cornwall WildlifeTrust
Projects: Seaquest, Marine Strandings Network, Seasearch, ShoreSearch
National Marine Week 23rd July – 7th August
Wildlife sightings network

Cornwall Seal Group (Research Trust)
Protecting seals around Cornwall, collecting data on numbers, entrapment in lost fishing gear.

Rame Peninsula Beach Care
Cornish Plastic Pollution Coalition
Local groups working together.

Citizen Science

University of Exeter
Research on Gilthead Bream – fish.

National Lobster Hatchery
Lobster grower- potential for sea based on growing.

University of Exeter
Health and Wellbeing in fishing communities
Survey of Porthleven fishermen.

Plymouth Marine Laboratory
10 year assessment of marine litter

Surfers Against Sewage
Using Science to drive change.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust
MECN Bottlenose dolphin conference 29th October 2016