Help for Kelp
Bowdleflode News No. 43 – December 2021
Young kelp in the shallows
International experts and local fishermen joined forces at the recent Sussex Wildlife Trust’s Kelp Summit to celebrate and share the journey of the Sussex Kelp Restoration project.
Kelp is the name given to a group of brown seaweeds, usually large in size, that are capable of forming dense aggregations known as ‘kelp forests’. These underwater forests are some of the most productive and biodiverse habitats on the planet, but since the 1980s more than 96 per cent of the kelp on the 40km stretch of Sussex coast has disappeared. Largely blamed on climate change, pollution and the dumping of sediment.
The project has been applauded by Sir David Attenborough, who said:
‘Sussex’s remarkable kelp forests will now have a chance to regenerate to provide a home for hundreds of species, creating an oasis of life off the coast, enhancing fisheries and sequestering carbon in our fight against climate change.’
The summit guided attendees through a journey to understand more about the underwater forests and why they are so important for wildlife, food security and to help combat climate change. International marine experts, local fishermen, youth ambassadors and more were able to highlight the important work achieved over the past six months. This has included, mapping the remaining kelp, seabed carbon sampling, and benchmarking and monitoring the current wildlife, including commercial species such as Lobster, Bass and Black Sea Bream.
The event is a first for the Sussex Kelp Restoration Project and was funded by the People’s Postcode Lottery. The summit also featured the premiere of a short film by Big Wave TV highlighting the work of the Sussex Kelp Restoration Project scientists.
For more information visit sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk
Global response to illegal wildlife trade
Endangered wildlife hides captured from poachers
As part of a major international operation to tackle illegal wildlife trade, over 250 products at the UK border containing endangered wildlife has been seized by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) and INTERPOL.
Operation Thunder involved police, customs, environment, wildlife and forestry agencies from 111 countries and is a crucial part of a global response to a global issue. The illegal wildlife trade is the fourth biggest illegal trade in the world, worth over an estimated £15 billion annually and a haven for international organised criminals.
UK Border Force officers seized items which included live animals and corals, products with python skin and turtle shell, elephant tusks and ivory goods, as well as health products claiming to be slimming supplements containing cactus and orchid extracts and crocodile blood.
Border Force plays a vital frontline role in the detection and seizure of items covered by the CITES convention (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Wildlife Fauna and Flora) which regulates the trade in endangered animals and plants. The endangered species trade is strictly controlled under CITES, and Border Force plays an important role in preventing the illegal import, export and transhipment of these goods through the UK.
Bowdleflode of the Month
This month’s Bowdleflode has been created by Erin, age 12!
Erin describes her creation as:
“An amphibian with a frog’s head, rabbit ears, hawk wings and tiger’s body. They eat meat, insects, berries and sometimes humans! Togaiko lives in forests and mountain peaks.
They are clever, strong and very independent.”
Thank you Erin for your wonderful new addition to Bowdleflode Safari! ? ?