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

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

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.

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 or telephone 0871 521 5522.


Notes to editors:
The ORCA project with DFDS aims to inform passengers and inspire them to help protect the marine wildlife living in our waters. The data collected on board feeds into the European Cetacean Monitoring Coalition (ECMC), which is co-led by ORCA and aims to establish a single, reliable source of cetacean sightings in UK & European waters. The coalition is made of seven NGOs across four European countries. Its mission is to improve the long term conservation of European cetaceans through the collection and dissemination of high quality research and supporting evidence.

Schools involved with the beach cleans included Hazelwood Community Primary School in Wideopen and Wallsend St. Peter’s Church of England School.

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About DFDS:
DFDS is Northern Europe’s largest integrated shipping and logistics company, with a network of around 30 routes and 50 freight and passenger ships.

DFDS prides itself on offering world-class facilities and services and the widest choice of ferry routes into northern Europe.

In the UK, the company operates passenger ferry services on routes from Dover to Calais, Dover to Dunkirk, Newcastle to Amsterdam and Newhaven to Dieppe.

DFDS has been named the ‘World’s Leading Ferry Operator’ for the last five years (2011-15), as well as ‘Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator’ at the prestigious 2014 and 2015 World Travel Awards.

DFDS currently operates up to 54 sailings a day between Dover and France on its Dover-Dunkirk and Dover-Calais routes. DFDS also offers two daily sailings between Newcastle and Amsterdam. In addition, the DFDS network includes a passenger and freight service between Newhaven to Dieppe, which has four daily sailings and is operated by Transmanche Ferries.

For further information about DFDS, or to find out about the latest sailing times, fares and offers across all routes from the UK, visit