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Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group

Skomer Marine Reserve and much more

24th July 2015



Sunstar, copyright Rohan Holt

Sunstar, copyright Rohan Holt


Skomer Marine Reserve and much more

          Blaise Bullimore has spent his working life in various roles all connected to the conservation of our precious marine life. Having spent time during the day diving off Skomer he joined Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group on Thursday evening where he gave a very knowledgeable talk.

          He has been involved with Skomer Island over fifty years which initially was a voluntary marine reserve. In 1990 it was officially designated as Skomer Marine Reserve (SMR) one of only three in the UK. This meant that funding was available for people, boats, equipment, facilities and active management. In 1996 a sub-tidal monitoring station was set up which is the longest running in the UK. As well as taking a very active role in policy decisions they have produced literature for educational and professional purposes.

          Lost and discarded ropes, nets, packaging, angling gear and lobster pots all take a great toll on the fish, seals, birds and other marine life. A fifteen month study of a dozen lobster pots showed the trapped prey became bait for other predators and so continued a cycle of destruction.

          Blaise also dives with Neptune's Army of Rubbish Collectors (NARC) which is a band of volunteers who carry out rubbish collection from the seas around Pembrokeshire. They have found large amounts of plastic (in many forms), discarded fridges, shopping trolleys, tyres and even a lawn mower. He pointed out the sea is not an unofficial dumping ground.

          In 1992 the European Environment Commission worked with countries to designate more Marine Reserves. Wales have seven of which five are wholly within Wales whilst two cross the border with England. In theory 25% of the coast of Wales is covered. However without resources to actively manage these it is difficult to provide the evidence on which to base constructive changes.

          The evidence collected around Skomer is very much photographic as a picture can illustrate a problem far better than just trying to describe it. One of the slides showed the effect of dredging on the sea bed. This involves dragging a heavy steel frame with a coarse mesh in the form of a scoop in order to let organisms smaller than the target species through. The net catches the larger organisms: in the case of scallop dredging that includes the scallops' predators, such as wells and starfish. This is towed along the sea bed which scours it and leaves it baron the sponges, grasses, starfish, clams and corals are all lost.

          Blaise is very concerned that the evidence needed to inform marine policy is expensive, needs resources, a long time scale and involves working in a very robust environment. He fears that when the choice is between the environment and economic needs perception overcomes irrefutable evidence.

          He used the famous quote by Arthur C Clarke to end his presentation 'The sea is our greatest heritage. We are only now beginning to realise it's value. Let us it more wisely than we have used the land'.

          After may questions Blaise was thanked for his very interesting, illuminating and thought provoking talk.

J.R.


Past Articles
DateTitle
26th June 2015A visit to Stackpole Walled Garden: with Ian Wilshaw, Treasurer, Mencap Pembs, and Mike Evans, SDF Project Manager
29th May 2015Protecting Pembrokeshire's Coastline: A talk by Emyr Williams, PCC Coast Protection Engineer
10th April 2015Your Parliamentary Candidates' Answers to the PSEEG Questionnaire
3rd April 2015A visit to the RWE Pembroke Power Station, arranged by Marten Lewis from the Darwin Centre
27th March 2015Present and Future Flood Risks Explained: A talk by Richard Wicks & Phill Pickersgill from NRW
23rd January 2015Our Home Planet: The showing of the film 'Home' by Yann Arthus-Bertrand
28th November 2014Marine Energy in Pembrokeshire: A talk by Louise Rigby, co-ordinator for Marine Energy Pembrokeshire (MEP)
24th October 2014Extreme Weather Events: A talk on changing weather patterns by Janet Roberts, secretary of PSEEG
26th September 2014Renew Wales - Supporting Groups Across Wales: A talk on the work of this important organisation
25th July 2014How Green is our Wales?: A talk by Rhodri Asby, Deputy Director for Climate Change and Natural Resource Policy
27th June 2014Ty Solar at Rhosygilwen: A visit by members and friends of PSEEG
23rd May 2014Global Warming & Climate Change: A talk by Janet Roberts, secretary, PSEEG
28th March 2014The Swansea Bay Tidal Energy Lagoon: A talk by Owain Morris, Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) plc
24th January 2014P.C.N.P. supports Sustainable Development: A talk by Emma Taylor, SDF Administrator
29th November 2013To Frack or Not to Frack: A talk by John Childs from Safe Energy Wales
11th October 2013Quiet Revolution at Pembroke Dock: A visit with Marten Lewis to the Quiet Revolution factory
27th September 2013Keeping the lights and heating on: A talk by Graham Goodeve
28th June 2013Pembroke 21C Community Association: A talk by Elizabeth Gossage, Pembroke 21C Development Officer
24th May 2013Life beneath the waves; the beauties and the beasts: A talk by Blaise Bullimore, European Marine Site Officer
29th March 2013The National Trust in Wales - Energy Neutral by 2015: A talk by Paul Southall, NT Environment Advisor
1st March 2013Climate Change and a Sustainable Future: A talk by Peter Davies, Sustainable Futures Commissioner for Wales
25th January 2013Waste Not Want Not: A talk by Hywel Gibbs, Pembrokeshire County Council Waste Awareness Officer
30th November 2012Array of Hope: A talk by Paul Carter & Kim Daye from RWE Renewables on The Atlantic Array
26th October 2012The Green Deal: A talk by William Silverstone of Silverstone Green Energy
28th September 2012A Fair Wind?: A talk by Steve Hack of Seren Energy on PSEEG's renewable energy project
14th September 2012Not a Waste of Time: a visit to Withyhedges Landfill and recycling centre
29th June 2012The Need for a More Sustainable Future: A talk by Geraldine Leach of Transition Narberth
1st June 2012Know your Flood Risk: A talk by Andy Irving, Flood Risk Management Team Leader
11th May 2012The Power of the Sun: A visit to the Solar Farm at Rhosygilwen
23rd March 2012Planting Green Thoughts: A talk by Jo Horsley, Environment Wales Development Officer
24th February 2012The Atlantic Array offshore wind farm: A talk by Robert Thornhill, Development Manager
2nd December 2011Pathfinder Progress: A talk by Peter Willis from the Welsh Government's Pathfinder Programme
4th November 2011The DeltaStream project: A talk by Chris Williams, Development Director of Tidal Energy Ltd.
30th September 2011How Green is my Valley?: A talk by Grenville Ham, Manager of The Green Valleys Project
23rd September 2011PSEEG's visit to Carew Mill with Marten Lewis of the Darwin Centre
5th August 2011The Manner of the Message: A talk by Neil Sefton on communication skills
24th June 2011The Work of the Darwin Centre: A talk by Marten Lewis, manager of the Darwin Centre
27th May 2011Electric Cars The Road Ahead?: The talk by John Lilly of Dragon Electric Vehicles
13th May 2011Are electric cars the way forward?: A talk by John Lilly of Dragon Electric Vehicles
22nd April 2011Sustainability in Action: A visit to the Science & Technology Park (Technium) in Pembroke Dock
1st April 2011A Revolution in Wind Energy?: A talk by Vaughan Griffiths from Quietrevolution, Pembroke Dock
25th February 2011Preparing for Floods: A talk by Richard Wickes of the Environment Agency
14th January 2011The Way Forward for Wind?: A talk by Steve Hack of Seren Energy
12th November 2010How Green is your Castle?: The National Trust & Global Warming
15th October 2010Challenge of the Rising Sea: The effects on the Pembrokeshire coastline
10th August 2010The beautiful Welsh coastline: Response to possible rising sea levels
18th June 2010Visit to Costain at Canaston Bridge: Not Costing the Earth
16th April 2010Feed in Tariffs: Power to the People
12th March 2010Heat Pumps & Photo Voltaic Panels: Prepare for the Goodlife
12th February 2010Parliamentary Candiates at Green Question Time in Saundersfoot
15th January 2010Weather & Climate: A Question of Energy
4th December 2009Sustainable Community Ventures: Regeneration in Pembrokeshire
13th November 2009Community Initiatives: Sustainable Wales leads by example
16th October 2009Climate Change Challenge for Candidates & Micro-generation with wind turbines
2nd October 2009A Visit to Castle Pill Wind Farm: Quiet blows the wind
11th September 2009Renewable Sustainable Energy: An Energy Survey for South East Pembrokeshire
10th July 2009A talk by Lorraine Dallmeier of Infinergy: Wind Power - Pembrokeshire's Potential
12th June 2009St. Oswald's, Jeffreyston - Pembrokeshire's Beacon of Sustainability
24th April 2009Solar Panels: Three Cheers for Sunny Pembrokeshire
13th March 2009Ashton Hayes Community Energy Reduction & Hot Water From the Sun
13th February 2009Could Pembrokeshire go carbon neutral?
14th November 2008Environment Wales to provide 'Start-Up' Funding for PSEEG
17th October 2008PSEEG to become a Registered Charity


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