New scheme will protect our rich marine wildlife

North Devon Gazette

In recognition of the keen interest shown by North Devon skippers to protect marine life, an Accredited Wildlife Safari Operator Scheme was developed in 2016. Â

Andrew Bengey, Skipper of Obsession II said: “We have found the accreditation scheme very useful and informative, we found that it attracted more customers for us due us displaying the poster for accreditation and many of our customers ask what it involved and why we wanted to be involved. Â

“As skippers and crew, being happy to share our knowledge has helped others around the coast.” Â

North Devon Biosphere and Lundy have now joined once again to redevelop and expand the Scheme, so that it now reflects the broader coastal business sector in North Devon and is open to all North Devon businesses and individual operators who encounter coastal and marine life. Â

Andy, the Manager of North Devon Biosphere, said: “The marine life found in North Devon is spectacular and attracts many visitors to business across the coastline. There has been an explosion in businesses operating along the coast and offshore since the initial schemes release and so now is a great time to support all our businesses by relaunching the scheme and opening it up to them all. Â

“As someone who regularly interacts with marine life around our coast, it really is up to us to protect it and make sure that both the species and visitors benefit from interactions”. Â

Today, the new Marine Wildlife Aware Accreditation Scheme (MWAAS) covering the North Devon Biosphere and Lundy has gone live, allowing any relevant business or individual to undertake training online and gain accreditation. Â

Participants to the Scheme will receive annual training, be promoted as Wildlife Aware businesses through the relevant websites and the new North Devon Explorer App, be able to promote their businesses using the Scheme logo, have a transferable skill and have the opportunity for further support through regular webinars and updates through a members-only Facebook group.   Â

North Devon Biosphere are hosting an introductory webinar on the Scheme at 7pm-8pm on Thursday, 17 March, 2022. Sign up via North Devon Biosphere Eventbrite or Facebook page.Â