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Friends of Cardigan Bay

In this collection, you can explore various images from protests, events, and activities carried out by Friends of Cardigan Bay (FoCB). Jeremy Moore and Mick Green have kindly provided the following 'potted history' of Friends of Cardigan Bay: "In summer 1989 the Greenpeace vessel MV Solo arrived in Aberystwyth to highlight the fact that there was a resident group of bottlenose dolphins in Cardigan Bay. The aim of the Greenpeace visit was to kickstart an independent local group with similar aims to their own. They organised a public meeting in the Old College and as a result a group of about eight people from a very active local Friends of the Earth group “jumped ship” to start FoCB. Part of the Greenpeace visit included a boat trip (using a local vessel) during which a large number of bottlenose dolphins were seen off Aberystwyth. Greenpeace volunteers were on board to do some dolphin “photo-id” and the techniques were passed on to local volunteers. FoCB was officially launched at Aberystwyth Arts Centre by the conservationist David Bellamy, who remained its President. William Condry, the author and warden of Ynyshir RSPB reserve, was FoCB’s vice-president. In its first few years FoCB was a very active and successful pressure group which enjoyed much local support. It had a small membership paying an annual fee, and produced a quarterly newsletter and teeshirts, badges and other items with which to raise funds. It began a campaign for Cardigan Bay to be designated a Marine Nature Reserve which proved to be unsuccessful, although as an awareness-raising mechanism it worked well. It played a role in the designation of parts of the Bay as Special Areas for Conservation. FoCB was also instrumental in setting up the Cardigan Bay Forum where conservation issues could be discussed by the various stakeholders. It campaigned successfully for responsible sewage disposal at Aberystwyth. Welsh Water had proposed to build a long outfall pipe but as a result of FoCB’s campaigning built a state-of-the art sewage works instead. Welsh Water then extended this more enlightened approach to sewage disposal elsewhere along the coast. FoCB also campaigned against the coming of oil exploration to Cardigan Bay waters and the wider Irish Sea. It organised a boat based protest against an oil drilling rig just north of Bardsey Island, although unfortunately on the same day the convictions of two suspects for a well-known murder case in Cardiff were over-turned and press coverage was minimal! However, the campaign continued and became a national issue with organisations such as WWF and Marine Conservation Society setting up a consortium of organisations to introduce more environmental controls over the oil industry. FoCB discovered no assessments of the environmental impacts of oil exploration were undertaken, in breach of a EU Directive. Working with Friends of the Earth’s Solicitor, FoCB took a complaint to Europe and won, meaning all offshore developments around the UK are now subject to Environmental Assessment. FoCB members continued to do photo-id work when possible but more of this took place in the New Quay area where the dolphins normally were! FoCB organised co-ordinated land- and boat- based counts of wintering seabirds (divers, grebes, scoter) around the Bay. FoCB also established a project studying Risso’s Dolphins and Porpoise on Bardsey Island. This project continues to this day, now run by Whale and Dolphin Conservation."

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