offWales as Hungry Marine Life Heats Up Dolphins All Swim in Turtles, Sharks and; Wildlife Watchers Can Join a Jellyfish Survey
Byline: Sally Williams
AN EXTENDED period of calm, warm weather has brought an abundance of wildlife into Welsh coastal waters.
Rare leatherback turtles, basking sharks, large groups of jellyfish and superpods of dolphins have all been spotted in Welsh seas in the past few weeks.
The impressive array of marine life around Wales is due to a hot spell in the early part of the summer, along with tranquil conditions, which have made the Irish Sea a perfect bathing area for a variety of species.
Leatherback turtles, the world's largest sea turtles, have already been spotted this summer off the coast of Pembrokeshire, near Barmouth in Gwynedd, and also off Ceredigion and Conwy.
According to the Marine Conservation Society, it has also been a bumper year for basking sharks, which are routinely found in Pembrokeshire waters.
And earlier this month a 1,500-strong super pod of dolphins and their young, stretching for a mile were spotted off the Pembrokeshire coast.
Peter Richardson, MCS biodiversity programme manager, said the long, hot summer, combined with three weeks of calm coastal waters, have provided excellent conditions for the rich diversity of marine species to feed and thrive.
"As seas continue to warm up during the summer, more jellyfish blooms are expected, which in turn will attract more leatherbacks," he said.
"After three quiet and wet summers, the Welsh coast is now very productive.
"It is …
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Publication information: Article title: offWales as Hungry Marine Life Heats Up Dolphins All Swim in Turtles, Sharks and; Wildlife Watchers Can Join a Jellyfish Survey. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales). Publication date: July 17, 2009. Page number: 16. © 2009 MGN Ltd. COPYRIGHT 2009 Gale Group.
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