Devon Dolphins campaign

White beaked dolphins (photo: Michael Tetley)White beaked dolphins (photo: Michael Tetley)

Devon Wildlife Trust is calling on the government to create a protected area in the south west of Lyme Bay for dolphins, whales and seabirds. This area is home to white beaked dolphins, but these dolphins have no legal protection against damaging human activities here.

After years of campaigning, fifty Marine Conservation Zones have now been designated to help our marine environment recover from decades of decline.

But there are many places and species that still need protection. Large marine animals, such as whales, dolphins and basking sharks are also at risk from damaging activities.

Although these species range across large areas, evidence from overseas shows that Marine Protected Areas - in places where animals gather to feed, breed and raise their young - can help to protect those at risk.

An area in the south-west of Lyme Bay is vital for a population of white beaked dolphins that spend much of their lives here, foraging for food and nursing their young. 

This area is also important for bottlenose dolphins, minke whale, basking shark and thousands of seabirds. 

Creation of a new Marine Conservation Zone here would protect marine animals against damaging human activities.

DWT was disappointed that the government did not include our proposed site for white beaked dolphins in the summer 2018 public consultation on potential designation of 41 new MCZs. However we will still be pursuing a protected area for cetaceans and seabirds in Lyme Bay in future.