Call for pembs to be designated "porpoise hotspot"
2:40pm Saturday 12th January 2013 in County News
A local marine conservation group is pushing for Pembrokeshire to be internationally recognised as one of the last strongholds for harbour porpoises in western Europe.
Sea Trust says that it has identified the north Pembrokeshire coast, along with the islands of Skokholm, Skomer, Ramsey and the Bishops and Clerks group, as strongholds of the species.
“Our research has shown that sightings of porpoises in west Wales are consistently higher than those quoted for other areas of the UK and Europe,” said the charity’s director Cliff Benson.
“There are few, if any, similar recorded concentrations in UK waters as are found here. It is something we in west Wales should be very proud of.”
This year the charity is determined to promote several ‘porpoise hotspots’, for inclusion in designated marine protection areas.
“The designation of, and inclusion of, harbour porpoise into the Pembrokeshire Marine Special Area of Conservation (SAC) is long overdue and the SAC needs extending,” said Cliff.
He said that Strumble Head, which lies outside the SAC, has consistently attracted high concentrations of porpoises.
“The importance of Pembrokeshire as a porpoise stronghold should be internationally recognised so that any future developments which might affect their status here would be subject to stringent environmental assessments,” he said.