FOCB Attend Important Marine Conference
17th November 2010
Friends of Cardigan Bay Attend Important Marine Conference
The Aberystwyth based marine conservation group, 'Friends of Cardigan Bay' recently attended an international conference held on the Scottish island of Arran.
Over 40 specialists travelled from across the UK and abroad to participate in a wide range of discussions on the future of the ocean. The inspiration behind the event was the community group C.O.A.S.T. (Community of Arran Seabed Trust) and their success in securing a 'no-take zone' for a small part of the sea surrounding Arran, which is allowing an area of seabed to recover from destructive fishing practices such as dredging.
The Legend of Cantre' r Gwaelod
While scientists are not quite sure how the Sarnau of Cardigan Bay were formed, the legend of ‘Cantre`r Gwaelod’ (‘The Lowland Hundred’) still haunts the imagination.
About 600 ad Cantre’r Gwaelod extended some 20 miles west of the current shoreline into what is now Cardigan Bay. It was an area of rich, low-lying farmland, with a healthy human population. But it was prone to flooding and was protected from the waves by a system of sea defences and dykes. Sluices were closed at high water to keep out the sea. Legend has it that the Sarnau are the remains of causeways built to give access to the present mainland during high water.
Ecological Importance of the Sarnau In Cardigan Bay
By Phil Hughes.
Cardigan Bay is a large shallow, sandy bay enclosed on three sides by the Welsh mainland, bounded by Bardsey Island in the North and Ramsey to the South. Within the bay there are now two Special Areas of Conservation. The Cardigan Bay SAC was originally designated for its population of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), and in the north of the bay the Pen Llyn Ar Sarnau SAC, which was designated in part because of the three Sarnau or reefs it contains. These are unique sub-tidal features and believed to be of international importance.
A Seasearch Weekend
By Ian Williams
It’s seven o-clock. The start of another Seasearch weekend!
Time to get up and put my kit in the car. The weather looks great, but we all know how quickly that can change. Shorts and t-shirt on, if the weather turns and it gets colder I’ll just have to leave my undersuit on. My cylinders weights and camping gear were all put in the car last night so it’s just dive bag drysuit, undersuit and camera to load. (Don’t forget 2 days packed lunches and change of clothes).
The Manx Shearwater
We are very, very special birds ‘Puffinus puffinus’
Perhaps when you have read this you will also think we are very, very special birds.
What’s in the name Puffinus puffinus? Well, a lot because we have been named incorrectly. We are actually members of the family ‘Procellariiformes’ - a large group which includes birds like Albatross, Fulmars and Storm petrels. Our name was given to us because, many years ago, our ancestors were taken from their burrows by men to be eaten, and, we were known as ‘Puffins’ or ‘Puffings’. In 1676 following some scientific work on the Isle of Man we were known as ‘Manx Puffins’. It seems ‘Shearwater’ was added to our name at least a century later because we fly very close to the water, apparently shearing the surface with our wing tips.