Sunderland children have a ‘whale of a time’ on sea mammal spotting centre

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WEARSIDE youngsters had a whale of a time as they helped celebrate five years of a charity link up.

DFDS Seaways has worked with whale and dolphin orgainsation since 2008 during which time more than 800 marine mammals have been spotted from DFDS Seaways’ cruise ferries, King Seaways, Princess Seaways and Sirena Seaways.

Pupils from Highfield primary school help launch the new interactive art display as part of DFDS and ORCA activity onboard the cruise ship......Stephen Anderson (left) and Liam Douglas in the Observation Lounge.............(pics DAVID CHARLTON)

Pupils from Highfield primary school help launch the new interactive art display as part of DFDS and ORCA activity onboard the cruise ship......Stephen Anderson (left) and Liam Douglas in the Observation Lounge.............(pics DAVID CHARLTON)

A further 260 marine mammals have been spotted by onboard wildlife officers carrying out deck watches with passengers. To celebrate, ferry bosses have created an interactive art display, which children from Highfield Community Primary School, in Fordfield Road, Sunderland, unveiled in the wildlife centre onboard cruise ferry King Seaways on Wednesday. The art display depicts a view of the North Sea, the River Tyne and other local landmarks, created by artist Fiona Dunn.

Year 4 school youngsters from the Ford Estate school added their own drawings of marine wildlife and the threats wildlife face. The art will become part of the onboard wildlife centre activities designed for passengers travelling with DFDS Seaways.

Sara Frost, ORCA wildlife officer, said: “The artwork is a great addition to the onboard wildlife centre and is something we can continue to build on with the passengers.

“It’s the perfect visual reminder of the fantastic wildlife living in the North Sea and the dangers they face from human activities. DFDS Seaways and ORCA work in partnership on the Your Seas project which works with local communities and young people to make a positive impact on the marine environment by inspiring a new generation to change their behaviour and take an active part in conservation.”