People are being invited to become marine detectives and discover what lies beneath.
Northumberland Wildlife Trust and MARINElife, the European marine conservation research charity, are joining forces to help protect wildlife in the North Sea.
In order to have a better understanding of marine mammals such as dolphins and whales, conservationists will be identifying species as well as recording their distribution and behaviour.
Data can help monitor changes in poopulations and contribute towards the designation of Marine Protected Areas, which protect key habitats for migrant marine species.
The two organisations are now inviting members of the public to become ship-based surveyors in their spare time by taking a course on Saturday, September 14, at Cresswell Village Hall.
People taking part will get the chance to learn more about the North Sea’s marine wildlife and its need for protection, along with picking up new skills and developing practical experience.
After completing the course, they will be able to undertake scientific research and join ferry-based research surveyors to monitor wildlife encountered while on the DFDS Seaways ferries between the UK and the continent.
Steve Lowe, head of conservation at Northumberland Wildlife Trust, who will be helping to lead the course, said: “So much of the North Sea remains unexplored so having the opportunity to head off out there and carry out the survey is a wonderful chance for people to learn more about what lies beneath.”
The course costs £30 per person, £25 for Trust members and volunteers. To sign up, email Tricia Dendle, MARINElife administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Northumberland Wildlife Trust is the largest environmental charity in the region working to safeguard native wildlife.
It has campaigned for nature conservation for more than 40 years.
It manages and protects critical species and habitats at more than 60 nature reserves throughout Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle.