Rose's time on board the KING Seaways has come to an end! Find our about her final week on board...
It's been quite hard to know what to write about for my last blog entry as Wildlife Officer for the North Sea. I have had some amazing times on board the DFDS King Seaways and am more than a little gutted to have said goodbye to this beautiful old ship, and its funny, friendly crew members. There have been ups and downs of course (that often happens on a ship!) but overall, it stands out as an incredible six months of learning, teaching and sharing experiences with people from all over the world.
This time I was only on board for six days. In those six days we managed to yet again witness an incredible porpoise feeding frenzy with hundreds of adults and calves in big groups splashing around and generally acting very un-porpoise like. We also saw plenty of bottlenoses – something quite common this year but we shouldn't forget that this year has been a completely anomalous year for bottlenose numbers and just shows exactly why multiple day surveying every year, the way ORCA do, is so so important. My very last sighting was of a pair of beautiful white-beaked dolphins leaping out of the rough sea and creating huge splashes as they crashed back in, totally oblivious to our passing vessel.
One day, the two women I was standing on deck with got their first experience of wild dolphins and it was incredible to see them so moved. We started talking about these dolphins, and other cetaceans in the North Sea and further afield, and they asked me what they themselves could really do to help these animals. I happily launched into my usual list of things EVERYONE can do to help the seas but one of the women shook her head and said her impact was negligble because “I'm just one person”. I've heard this many, many times from almost every person I speak to about environmental issues, I'm sure you have too and it’s a hard standpoint to persuade people against. But before I could launch into my usual answer her friend just said; “No. We are three people.” and her response stunned me.
I am not alone in suffering from worrying about the devastation of our environment. But why do I so often think I am alone? If I have learned anything from my time on the KING, it is that actually most people feel the same way I do.
But many of us, and this included myself until only a couple of years ago, have trouble linking the enormous problems facing the planet, to the small actions that we do every day. It is imperative that people start to link up the big issues to their own actions. If we can face up to our personal impacts, we can start thinking aligning our lives with the changes we want to see.
And it doesn't require overhauling your life overnight. Hate seeing the factory trawlers out on the East Yorkshire coast? Then choose to only buy fish from local artisinal fishermen. And just because you don't have a kitchen complete with an entirely plastic free larder, does that mean that you shouldn't make an effort to buy your food plastic free when possible? Of course not. We have all blindly become a part of this problem – now is the time to open our eyes.
Goodbye for now!
ORCA Wildlife Officer - The North Sea