Drinks firm helps protect seagrass

Local spirits producer Salcombe Distilling Co have got together with the Marine Conservation Society to help protect Segrass meadows of the Dorset coast

Friday 22nd July 2022 4:00 pm
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Seagrass protection mission
(Salcombe Gin )

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Salcombe Distilling Co. have partnered with the Marine Conservation Society to fund work to protect Seagrass meadows off the coast of Dorset’s Portland Harbour. The purchase and installation of ‘no anchor zone’ buoys have been funded through Salcombe Distilling Co.’s ‘One per cent for the Ocean’ campaign, with their contributions now protecting or regenerating over 230,000m² of ocean habitat worldwide.

On World Oceans Day in June 2021, the South Hams-based spirits producer pledged to donate one per cent of sales from some of their range to their chosen ocean charity partners, Marine Conservation Society in the UK and SeaTrees in the US.

Dr Jean-Luc Solandt, Principal Specialist of Marine Protected Areas at the Marine Conservation Society, explains why the ‘no anchor zone’ buoys are so significant:

“The area of Seagrass we are seeking to protect with this installation is around 300,000m2 and we’re aiming to protect it from damage made by visiting vessels anchoring in this area. Seagrass is the most important habitat in the marine environment for our fight against climate change, even though it covers a very small amount of our sea, it is extremely effective at capturing carbon and supporting fish populations.”

The ocean connects, sustains, and supports us all, yet its health is at a tipping point and so is the well-being of all life that depends on it. Blue carbon ecosystems such as Seagrass meadows, kelp forests and coral can store up to 10 times more carbon than tropical rainforests. The section of Seagrass being protected with the ‘no anchor zone’ is part of the Castle Cove Sailing Club mooring area and is a popular spot for day trippers and water sports enthusiasts.

Ian Green the Vice Commodore at Castle Cove Sailing Club adds:

“In the summer months we get quite a lot of visitors to this beautiful location and unfortunately, they have little awareness of the Seagrass that exists on the seabed. Something as simple as the marker buoys that have been placed here will make a big difference and we’re really grateful that the Marine Conservation Society and Salcombe Distilling Co. has taken an interest and provided these buoys.”

From July 2022 the company will extend its ‘One per cent for the Ocean’ initiative to include even more of their products.

Howard Davies, co-founder of Salcombe Distilling Co. explains why ocean conservation forms such a large part of the company’s ongoing strategy and why they are now donating even more:

“When we initially launched the business, we knew we wanted to do more than just create fantastic spirits, we wanted to do something related to the greater good and sustainability. It made perfect sense to do something connected to the ocean, being a waterside distillery, and with the installation of these buoys we have been able to bring together our ethos with that of the Marine Conservation Society to deliver something truly special. This activity is really valuable to me personally and means I can look at myself in the mirror each day and feel like we’re doing something with more than a purely commercial benefit.”

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