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MCS South East Group
Local group of leading UK environmental organisation protecting our seas.
Local group of leading UK environmental organisation protecting our seas.

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Guest speaker Rob Deaville UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP)

BBC News 4 February 2016
“A whale found stranded on a Norfolk beach has died, rescue teams have said.
Efforts have been under way to save the sperm whale since the UK Coastguard received a call just after 07:30 GMT. It is thought it became stranded overnight.
The 14m-long (46ft) bull was found between Old Hunstanton and Holme-next-the-Sea, about two miles east of where another sperm whale died on 22 January.”

Unfortunately reports like the one above are become far to common, active sonar, disease, social interactions, noise pollution are some of the problems linked with single or mass standings of cetaceans around the world.

Our guest speaker Rob Deaville who is a project manager from ZSL for the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) will be giving a talk on how post-mortems carried out on cetaceans which have died after stranding, help us learn why these strandings occur in the first place.

As project manager of the CSIP, Rob’s responsibilities include overall management of the programme, liaison with funders, partner organisations, other stakeholders and the UK public. he manages the production of national summary reports for government and co-ordinates the national web accessed database and national marine mammal tissue archive. Rob also helps to conduct necropsies on UK stranded cetaceans, marine turtles, seals and sharks and also helps facilitate the production of research generated through collaborations arising from the project.

Information on UK stranded cetaceans has been routinely collected by the Natural History Museum since 1913 when the historic rights to strandings were transferred to them by the then Board of Trade. Since 1990, the collaborative UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) has been funded by UK government to;
• Collate, analyse and report data for all cetacean strandings around the coast of the UK,
• Determine the causes of death in stranded cetaceans, including by-catch and physical trauma,
• Undertake surveillance on the incidence of disease in stranded cetaceans in order to identify any substantial new threats to their conservation status,
• Maintain a national cetacean tissue archive.

Entry to our meetings is free, they start at 20:00 sharp but people tend to meet in the bar first and then migrate back there afterwards about 21:30.

We are located on the first floor of Student Union building , imperial college, Beit Quadrangle, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BB.

Access is via the stairs in the North East corner of Beit Quadrangle by the Union bar. Signs should be visable as You enter the quadrangle.

Hope to see you there.
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We are very lucky to get Robert Irving, marine environmental consultant and past Chairman of MCS South East. He will be giving a talk on his recent work in the Pitcairn islands, South Pacific.

Robert has been involved with studying the marine life of the Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific since he first visited the islands in 1991 as part of the Sir Peter Scott Commemorative expedition to the Pitcairn Islands. This Cambridge University-led expedition focussed on investigating the biodiversity of the largest of the four islands, Henderson, about which very little was known at the time. Roberts contribution, together with his fellow-diver Jo Jamieson (another active MCS South East member), was to carry out the first survey of near-shore biotopes and reef fishes of the island.

In 2013, he had success in winning a joint Darwin Initiative 3-year bid to develop a sustainable marine and fisheries management plan for the Pitcairn Islands, together with the University of Dundee and the Zoological Society of London. And you may also have heard of the UK government's intention to designate the world's largest MPA around the islands. Robert will bring us up to date with developments on both of these projects.

More information on Robert's life as a consultant can be found on his company's website:

Hope to see you there.
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If you did miss the film of the year last week, then you have another change to catch Racing Extinction on the Animal Plant channel at 21:00 to day.
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Guest speaker and social evening

Well the end of another year. But the MCS will focusing its work over the coming years 2015-2020 on the following priorities, to progress towards our vision of Seas Fit for Life:
Protecting marine life 
Sustainable fisheries 
Clean seas and beaches 
Working seas
Engaging our audiences

We are very lucky to have Sam Fanshawe CEO of the MCS as our guest speaker on the 8th December to give us the full low down on the “Our seas our future” staategy.

Sam has been Chief Executive Officer of Ross-on-Wye based MCS since 2004. Prior to that she was the charity's Head of Conservation and also ran the organisation's flagship Beachwatch programme which works to reduce marine litter. 

Sam pursued an interest in the environment throughout her university studies, firstly at York University and then in California where a love for the marine environment and diving was instilled. She joined MCS in 1994, and since then she has worked on every project and covered almost all aspects of marine conservation.

Sam has led the MCS through a period of exciting growth and development during which the charity has tripled in size and become a widely respected force for marine conservation.

Of course as its December we will be have drinks and nibbles afterwards to celebrate another successful year. You will find us on the top floor of the North Building in Beit Quadrangle, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BB

Here is a brief outline of th Our Seas Our Future strategy

MCS Strategy 2015-2020
The seas around the UK are vital to all of us. An historical seafaring nation with a diverse fishing industry and coastal tourism at the economic heart of many communities – connections with the sea are all around us.
Our seas and our future health, wealth and wellbeing are inextricably linked. Clean seas and beaches, healthy fish stocks and proper marine protection supports tourism, livelihoods, habitats and wildlife. Protecting the amazing marine life around our shores from litter, indiscriminate fishing methods or poorly planned development is the responsibility of our generation. Creating a network of marine protected areas, promoting selective fishing practices and responsible fish farming and taking action to reduce marine litter are just some of the steps urgently needed if our seas are to recover to a healthy state. Our seas our future sets out the Marine Conservation Society’s five year plan to ensure our seas are fit for life – for marine life, for livelihoods and for future lifetimes.
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As usually all our meetings are free to attend and this time we are lucky to have

Jean-Luc Solandt Biodiversity Policy Officer for the Marine Conservation Society as our guest speaker.

Jean-Luc works as part of the UK government process to get current Marine Protected Areas given the provisions necessary to protect them from damaging fishing practices. 

He also shows the implications of recovery of marine ecosystems for the benefit of ecosystem goods and services as well as the provision of increased biodiversity, species and habitat richness. 

He is an expert in the correct and reasonable application of marine laws - particularly with regard to European Marine Sites.

He also co-ordinates Reef Check dive surveys in the Maldives, and more recently in Oman. 

Jean-Luc will be giving a talk on MCZ's and MCS strategy for the coming year.

Hope to see you there.
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A midst the flurry of growth statistics and tax announcements in the budget, you might have missed the most important story of all. Buried in the small print of the red book was some brilliant news for Fish Fighters and ocean lovers everywhere.
The government responded to calls from a coalition of conservationists, and made a commitment to create the world’s largest marine reserve, around the British overseas territory of the Pitcairn Islands.
The coalition includes the Marine Conservation Society, The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Zoological Society of London, the Blue Marine Foundation, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds , Greenpeace UK and the National Geographic Society.
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The UK Government is presently consulting on measures to achieve Good Environmental Status in UK seas. This is an amazing opportunity to restore the health of our seas, but Government is only listing and consulting on existing measures, and has not put forward one new measure to improve the health of our seas. Please join us in telling them this is not good enough.

Please show your support for cleaner, healthier seas in the UK and Europe by signing the letter below. Feel free to edit it, and give your views in your own words.
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Watch out Mr Spock they will be after you next.

In many Star trek story lines Mr Spock has been saved due to his copper based blue blood. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the Horse Shoe crab.
Unlike vertebrates, horseshoe crabs do not have hemoglobin in their blood, but instead use hemocyanin to carry oxygen. Because of the copper present in hemocyanin, their blood is blue. Plus their blood contains amebocytes, which play a role similar to white blood cells in humans, defending the us against pathogens. Amebocytes  are used to make Limulus amebocyte lysate, which is used in the detection of bacterial endotoxins for medical applications. The blood of horseshoe crabs is harvested for this purpose.

Using the lower end of the estimated mortality rate for this procedure 50,000 to 150,000 horse shoe crabs are dying each year to provide cheap resources for the pharmaceutical giants. Plus if those that do survive release are less likely to reproduce what it is the true affect on the species as a whole. Numbers have been dropping, will this push them over the edge????????
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