Hi, I’m Jayne and I am a Hamshire Photographer with a passion for marine life.
I live by the sea on the south coast and have always been a great animal lover.
My day-to-day job is wedding, portrait and real estate photography in the South of England and beyond.
I absolutely love my job and photography is my passion.
Another passion of mine is highlighting the plight of the huge number of dolphins and whales which are killed in fishing nets and by fishermen in Taiji Cove in Japan every year. They also capture hundreds if not thousands of dolphins every year which are sold around the world to perform tricks in Marine Parks.
Do you remember the Whale (nicknamed Willy) who swam up the River Thames in 2006?
I spent 2 days glued to the TV willing this beautiful animal back to the open sea.
It became very clear that this one bottle-nosed whale was to become a beacon for all sea mammals and raise awareness to the public and those in Westminster as it swam by. It drew attention to the state of our seas which are polluted with noise, boats and overfishing meaning their food supply is diminishing and we all need to play our part to stem this destruction.
I don’t know if I became so interested because it resembled the state of the world’s oceans or the struggle to survive by a mammal finding itself in the wrong environment.
Either way, I embarked on a journey that I’m still campaigning for today. That is the plight of all sea mammals and particularly dolphins and whales that are caught to perform in Sea World and Marine Parks around the world.
I was incredibly upset when it was decided that alas this gorgeous creature had to be put to sleep and had lost her fight. Venturing into freshwater, no food supply which causes dehydration and internal and external damage to its body the experts had no choice.
A friend said to me at the time, look there’s a number on tv for the group who helped try to save her.
British Divers, Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) was formed in 1988, when a few like-minded divers got together in response to mass mortality of common seals in the Wash area of East Anglia, to do what they could for the rescue effort in response to the Phocine Distemper Virus epidemic that resulted in thousands of deaths.
Since 1988, BDMLR has been involved in the rescue of marine wildlife after every major marine disaster, including the Braer shipwreck in Shetland, the Sea Empress grounding in Milford Haven, and the Napoli shipwreck in Dorset.
Seal rescue has remained a major component of the BDMLR’s work, with medics rescuing animals in all seasons around the UK.
So I found myself on a freezing cold snowy February day at Beachy Head in a classroom training to be a Marine Mammal Medic.
It was such an interesting morning learning about the anatomy and physiology of cetaceans. We then moved onto the beach after lunch in our wet and dry suits with a hands-on lesson in how to save a seal, dolphin and whale.
They were rubber animals filled with water so we could experience the actual weight of these animals.
Then it was back to the classroom further education, certificates handed out and just like that, I was a fully-fledged MMM!
I have never been more grateful to my mum who had packed me off with a hot water bottle and flask of hot chocolate for when the course had finished. I was frozen!
I now volunteer for BDMLR and since passing have been called out to a huge bottle-nosed whale which stranded on Hayling Island, a porpoise at Langstone and several seal calls along the South Coast of England.
It is alarming how the number of stranding’s are rising year on year.
It’s not fully understood why these giants of the sea are stranding but increased naval exercises, boat activity, overfishing and pollution are just some of the main reasons these gorgeous creatures are dying.
Mass stranding’s can sometimes be attributed to the matriarch of the pod being sick and essentially coming into land to die with the rest of the otherwise healthy pod following her and stranding. The weather and electrical storms can sometimes play a part too.
Don’t Swim With Dolphins
Apart from being a wild animal which is unpredictable and incredibly powerful, it is a cruel environment these animals live in.
They are typically driven from the sea in large pods between September and March every year in Taiji Cove in Japan. Those dolphins that aren’t considered pretty enough are killed and sold as meat.
Those that are considered suitable are put into sea pens and starved. They are pumped through tubes with dead fish until they are fully trained to perform tricks for fish. It usually takes a month or so to learn one trick.
Once fully trained they are sold for around $250k to Sea World and other similar Parks as entertainment money spinners. They are shipped in wooden coffins and flown to China, USA etc to live life in a swimming pool.
Generally these animals have to do 1,000 laps a day of their pools to mimic similar swimming time in the wild. They are stuffed full of tranquilisers and anti-depressants to stop them going mad and keep them calm when swimming with the public.
The Cove and Black Fish are great documentaries to watch to understand this cruel industry in more depth and more recently Netflix released the brilliant SEASPIRACY.
When the oceans die and there are no more fish left mankind will also die.
I also follow on Social Media Richard O’Barry, The Cove and Sea Shepherd to promote – Rehabilitation, Release and Retirement.
The more we share and promote this important work and get involved, the more likely people will stop swimming with dolphins and eating them. |
The supply and demand cycle stops as the education and knowledge reaches the public.
Over 20 years ago I swam in Mexico with dolphins before I was educated. I had no idea where they came from or how they got to these countries.
A dolphin’s smile is one of the biggest myths you will see. Look at how happy they are! It’s purely physiological and has nothing to do with being happy. Please don’t feel bad if you also have watched them in Marine Parks or swum with them abroad. Education is knowledge and now we all know the reality our behaviour changes accordingly.
Giving back is always a great way to help with our Mental Health and Mental Well-Being.
I find it takes the emphasis from ourselves and places it on people and projects who need our time and a platform to share the news about them.
Being creative and assisting charities really helps take the focus from ourselves and gives you a sense of achievement.
Even following these groups I have mentioned on Social Media and sharing and exposing these cruel practices can help drive out the greed and protect all marine life.
Would you like to train as a Marine Mammal Medic?
You are welcome to contact me for more information or head over to the BDMLR site www.bdmlr.org.uk for more information.
Are you involved in a charity or project close to your heart that has helped with your Mental Health?
I’d love to hear all about it!