Wightlink is an award-winning ferry operator, linking the Isle of Wight with Hampshire through three convenient ferry routes that have excellent facilities. Our Lymington to Yarmouth route gives you both breath-taking views and the utmost convenience. It’s the fastest way to take your vehicle across the Solent, with crossing times of just 40 minutes on one of our spacious, well-equipped ferries. The route will take you through the mouth of Lymington River and past Hurst Castle on a beautiful journey, which will set you up perfectly for your trip ahead. We’re striving for a greener future, with a hybrid-energy flagship ferry and a host of environmentally friendly initiatives. To find out more and book a crossing, visit https://www.wightlink.co.uk/
Earlier this year Wightlink partnered with the Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) to place cages containing hundreds of young oysters into the Lymington River as part of its initiative to re-introduce the shellfish to the Solent.
Now up to an incredible 120 million oyster larvae are being released into the Lymington River.
The baby boom is the product of a colony of the 300 oysters introduced to Wightlink’s terminal at Lymington as part of ongoing work with scientists at the Blue Marine Foundation, the University of Portsmouth and University of Southampton.
While only a fraction of the larvae will go on to reach adulthood, the natural cycle of the colony nevertheless plays an important part in supporting the nearby ecosystem.
The ferry company is also working with the Blue Marine Foundation, the Zoological Society of London and the University of Portsmouth to record the native oyster population in the waters off the Isle of Wight.
Both projects are part of Wightlink’s green initiative, aimed at reducing its carbon footprint and operating in harmony with the Solent’s marine environment.
Dr Luke Helmer, Restoration Science Officer at the Blue Marine Foundation, says “Oyster reefs are important as they filter the water, reducing the impacts of excess nitrogen, stabilise sediment, enhance fish production and also provide habitats for hundreds of species.
“Tragically, reefs have declined by 95% around the UK’s coastline and their critical inputs have been lost from the environment. In order to increase the number of breeding oysters within the Solent, we have been working with Wightlink and other partners to create high density populations which release millions of larvae.
“The new colonies, suspended in nurseries underneath pontoons, have been shown to provide a refuge for other marine life. Up to 130 different species having been found living within the colonies so far, including critically endangered European eel, juvenile spiny seahorse and sea bass.”
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Wightlink’s Chief Executive Keith Greenfield said:
“Oysters are very effective in improving water quality and removing pollutants, just one of them can filter up to 200 litres of water a day. We share the Foundation’s aim to restore five million oysters to the Solent to re-establish a controlled fishery and are following its programme with interest.”
Supporting the Blue Marine Foundation is part of Wightlink’s Green Agenda, which began with the arrival of its hybrid energy flagship Victoria of Wight.
Wightlink is also emphasising recycling, cutting emissions by promoting electric vehicles through installing charging points at ports. It has also pioneered selling locally produced food and drink in its Wight Taste outlets.