Members of the NDMP team are on call 24/7. There are more and more sightings of ghost nets, plastic pollution, Cetacean entanglements and injuries reported. It is imperative that we all know what to do and who to call. Marine life, getting mixed up with our own, can be life-threatening to all involved. There is critical guidance to follow. The team are not only insured, but also experienced to deal with these situations. So please stay clear, call it in, and follow the guidance below.
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) was formed in 1988, when a few like-minded divers got together in response to a mass mortality of common seals in the Wash area of East Anglia, to do what they could for the rescue effort in response to the Phocine Distemper Virus epidemic that resulted in thousands of deaths.
Since 1988, BDMLR has been involved in the rescue of marine wildlife after every major marine disaster, including the Braer shipwreck in Shetland, the Sea Empress grounding in Milford Haven, and the Napoli shipwreck in Dorset. BDMLR are available throughout the UK, responding to injuries, abandonment and disentanglement of marine mammals as well as operating facilities such as their new seal sanctuary in Cornwall.
How you can help
If you find a seal, dolphin, whale or other marine life stranded or in distress, please help by keeping yours and others distance and calling the RESCUE HOTLINE on 01825 765546. BDMLR medics will arrive on scene to help. You can learn more about their incredible work by clicking on their logo.
Ghost nets, or ghost gear, refers to lost or discarded fishing gear (lost or discarded fishing gear including line, nets and pots). The name comes from the net continuing to harm or kill wildlife, long after it's been left behind. Around 640,000 tonnes of ghost fishing gear is reportedly discarded into the ocean every year. Discarded nets, lines and other fishing industry gear becomes difficult to see once in the water, or can be misconstrued as food by some marine life.
The UK's ghost gear is the second largest source of marine debris, with over 1250 kilometres of nets being discovered in UK waters annually. Over 150,000 seals and cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) are thought to be killed each year by ghost gear. This also extends to many species of marine birds and larger fish species such as sharks.
What if you see a net or fishing debris?
Should you spot ghost netting, please give us a call detailing your exact location (GPS / What Three Words) and any images that may help our search. The crew at NDMP might be able to retrieve the debris before it causes harm, if we can find it quickly enough. The issue with ghost nets or gear is the danger of wildlife become entangled, potentially leading to fatalities.
It's import you don't attempt to remove the debris yourself; nets can be weighted and heavy, anchored to rock etc and lines could have hooks or other dangerous debris caught within. If you find ghost gear, please call the REMOVAL HOTLINE on 01271 850 999 / 07836 205 762
The sooner it's called in, and with an exact location, the sooner it can be secured and retrieved. It's all upcycled! From Sunglasses to Kayaks, companies right here in Devon and Cornwall make use of it, so please call it in!
Ghost netting: Jade Powis
North Devon Marine are proud to support SHiFT, created by Emily Penn, ocean advocate and eXXpedition Co-Founder. The SHiFT method is designed to help people find their role in solving the world’s most pressing issues.
For Emily, that shift led her from a career in architecture to one dedicated to solving the issue of ocean plastic pollution. The more time Emily spent at sea, the more she realised the solutions start on land.
Through her workshops, curated experiences and sailing expeditions, she’s worked with individuals, businesses and governments around the world to develop solutions, from sea to source.
She developed the SHiFT method, which is a journey of discovery to understand the crux of a problem and weigh up where we have the biggest opportunity to make an impact.
Find hundreds of solutions to plastic pollution at www.shift.how
What to do if you find a live otter or cub in distress
If you have found an otter it is critical to get the animal to the best possible place for care. The first few hours can mean the difference between life or death to these vulnerable mammals. Please call the contact below – advice will then be given over the phone after asking a few basic questions about the specific animal and scenario. UKWOT will then make arrangements for the animal to be collected, as they require very specialist care. All of the orphaned cubs are released, fully fit, back into the wild after a year-long rehabilitation program, as they do not make good pets.
PLEASE PHONE 01769 540560 OR 07866 462820.
After finding an otter, please also follow the simple advice below until you have spoken to UKWOT:
– Do not give the otter normal milk – otters are lactose intolerant and it may choke them
– Do not handle the otter – apart from placing it in a box with a blanket/towel for them to lay on and hide
– Keep all pets, dogs and other animals away from the otter
– Keep the otter in a very dark and quiet area where it won’t be disturbed
– Do not put the otter near a radiator or anywhere it will get too hot; or, conversely, anywhere it will get too cold. Bear in mind that the blanket or towel placed in its box will be used by the animal to warm up
For further information and contact numbers across the UK, please click here.