DFDS has agreed a new partnership to protect UK coastlines by working with global conservation charity the Ocean Conservation Trust (OCT).
The ferry company, which operates services from the UK to France and Holland, will support the OCT’s Blue Meadows project, which aims to protect, regenerate, and restore seagrass habitats along UK coastlines.
Seagrass meadows provide valuable habitats for a diverse range of sealife, helping to support healthier Oceans. Up to 500 hectares of UK seagrass beds are being lost each year due to human activity such as pollution and destructive fishing activity. The partnership between DFDS and the Blue Meadows project will help protect ten per cent of the UK’s seagrass for the next five years – enough to cover 700 football pitches.
Customers will have the chance to learn more about the Trust’s work, get involved in its #thinkocean challenge, explore volunteering opportunities, and support its projects by donating to its fundraising campaigns.
The partnership is a first for a UK ferry operator, though DFDS runs several other environmental initiatives in the UK. These include a long-standing partnership with marine conservation charity ORCA, now in its 15th year, and a carbon-offsetting scheme which allows customers to offset the impact of their ferry travel by supporting forest regeneration projects in the UK, South America, and Africa.
Stephen House, Head of Campaigns for DFDS’s Channel Routes said: “The Ocean Conservation Trust’s Blue Meadows project is doing vital work to protect coastal habitats that allow marine life to thrive. Our work with the Trust will restore and protect hundreds of hectares of seagrass meadows to ensure a positive future for our oceans. The partnership is just one of several initiatives we’re delivering to support the marine environment and reduce our impact on the world around us.”
Roger Maslin, CEO of the Ocean Conservation Trust, said: “The Blue Meadows project is our most ambitious seagrass conservation project yet. Seagrasses are among the most important and valuable habitats on the planet, providing a haven for biodiversity, a defence for our coastline, and a carbon store for the future. We are currently losing hundreds of seagrass meadows every year and if we don’t act now these vital marine habitats will be lost forever. Through our work with DFDS we hope to raise awareness of this impending environmental disaster and encourage UK consumers to play their part in protecting the marine environment by supporting our work.”