DFDS Launches the 2016 Marine Wildlife Mini Cruise Season with a Beach Clean Creation

• Life-sized harbour porpoise sculpture created from materials collected on beach cleans installed on King Seaways
• Event kicks off the Marine Wildlife Mini Cruise season running until September

Thursday 31 March – A life-sized harbour porpoise sculpture has been installed at the ORCA wildlife centre onboard DFDS’ King Seaways to mark the beginning of the 2016 marine wildlife mini cruise​ season.

The sculpture was created by DFDS’ Artist-in-Residence Izzy Moreau, using items collected during a series of eight beach cleans by local volunteers and schoolchildren throughout March. Today’s event was attended by representatives of DFDS and ORCA. Also present were volunteers from the community beach cleans including Katy Barrett from the Dove Marine Lab, Louise Hopkins from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue and Adam Henderson from Hartlepool Marina.

The ORCA team, local volunteers and DFDS team collected up to 450kg of waste per beach clean session including wheel hubs, bottles, caps, fishing equipment and clothes, spending over 400 man hours combing beaches in all. The beach cleans took place in: Whitburn/Seaburn, Marsden and Roker in Sunderland; Cullercoats in North Shields; South Shields Beach; Hartlepool; IJmuiden in Holland.

The volunteers included 26 school children from Cambo First school in Morpeth, three placement students from Newcastle University, as well as 25 local volunteers from Sunderland. Most items from the beach cleans were recycled, while a selection from each clean was washed and sent to Izzy’s studio to create the harbour porpoise sculpture, unveiled today.

Max Foster, passenger director at DFDS said: “We are pleased to have this new installation for the ORCA wildlife centre on King Seaways for this year’s season. The time and effort that has gone into its creation, from the beach cleans to Izzy’s work in the studio, is testament to how people in the local area value their beaches and sea. We’re committed to continuing our work around marine conservation with ORCA and hope to be able to educate even more of our passengers about marine conservation through 2016.”

Rachael Forster, ORCA Community Wildlife Officer said: “Our ongoing relationship with DFDS enables us to not only obtain valuable information around marine conservation on the North Sea but also share our knowledge and experience with DFDS passengers and people from the local community. It is important to note, however, that even though Izzy has made an impressive sculpture from beach rubbish, the reality is that it would take over 700 years before the materials used to make the porpoise would start to break down.”

Izzy Moreau, artist in residence at DFDS commented on her latest project: “This has been a dream project for me as I am passionate about marine and animal conservation and have also been recycling materials for over 20 years. It has been a labour of love creating Deb (Debris) the Harbour Porpoise, who is made entirely from the rubbish collected on the beach cleans. I hope that she helps inspire those who see her on King Seaways to think about not only the wonderful animals who inhabit our seas but also how important it is to protect the marine environment in which they live.”

The marine wildlife mini cruise season offers those travelling with DFDS the chance to engage with this collaborative marine conservation charity initiative. ORCA wildlife officers host special deck watches, educational talks and activities onboard King Seaways during the season, while return Marine Wildlife Mini Cruises start from £58pp based on two people sharing a cabin on the early booking offer.

In 2015 the ORCA wildlife officers spotted an impressive 869 marine animals. The sightings included 39 minke whales, 10 bottlenose dolphins, 539 harbour porpoises and 145 white-beaked dolphins. 

To book your travel or for further information please visit www.dfds.co.uk or telephone 0871 521 5522. 

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