Busy giving seals a voice!
Since successfully introducing George Eustice (the DEFRA Minister for farming, food and the marine environment) to his local seals at the end of the last month, we have had a particularly busy time representing seals in our human world!
Sue, George and Kate meet the seals (including flipper tagged Beast – an ex entangled rescued, rehabbed and released seal)
The excellent Cornwall Council Environmental Growth strategy has been out for consultation recently and CSGRT responded to their online questionnaire about this during our monthly steering group meeting.
A full set of systematic surveys have been completed in October with three boat surveys taking place on 12th (CASPIP), 13th (STAPIP) and 14th (POLPIP) and the Looe survey also on 14th. We are hugely grateful to all the wonderful volunteers who accompanied us on these surveys.
Hardy boat survey volunteers for the STAPIP (left) and POLPIP (right) surveys
Sue has given six presentations about seals in Cornwall – at Cornwall College Newquay (2), in Hayle, Polzeath, Truro and at the Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Marine Strandings Network (the latter in conjunction with Kate Williams and Rob Wells).
CSGRT representatives have participated in numerous face to face and conference call meetings including the Marine Ecology Conservation Network Plastics day in Falmouth, the Cornwall Marine Liaison Group meeting in Truro and with the Evidence Building Team of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative which had representatives taking part from all over the world!
It has been a busy time with the media too – we have hosted a visit from a podcast recording team of brilliant students from the University of Exeter’s Centre for Ecology and Conservation called the Natural Selection, provided copy and images for two Western Morning News on Sunday articles about seal pups and provided footage for the One Show due to be broadcast on 02/11/15.
MECN participants (left) and University of Exeter Natural Selection Podcast team (right)
Thanks To Michelle, Wendy and Sue, CSG were well represented at the Boscastle Festival spreading the word about our fantastic seals and encouraging people to become citizen science recorders, as well as recruiting the next generation of seal scientists!
Boscastle festival stall (left) and seal models made by visiting children on the adjacent Suez scrap modelling stall run by Janine (right)
All this and we still managed our monthly CSG meeting, training on how to more efficiently interrogate our huge database of over 15,000 seal records (thanks to the hugely clever Dan Murphy); upload our fabulously designed brand new website (that’s down to Edd Hurst’s incredible skills and patience) and our volunteer recorders Alec, Enid and Terry at the Lizard have organised (with the help of Cat from the National Trust) an inspiring pup watch rota of amazing volunteers to keep an eye on their local pups, as well as ensuring that the large numbers of visitors keep their distance and give our special seal pups the best start in life!
Cornwall’s seals are very lucky to have a huge number of incredibly inspiring people watching over them, sharing their knowledge about them and informing those beyond the county boundaries about how best to protect them!
Being part of our rapidly expanding network is a truly humbling experience! Thank you!