ORCA Ocean Conservationist, Marthe

July 28, 2022

Did you know that for many years we have welcomed ORCA volunteers aboard our ferries? 

These wildlife offices help look after the animals that inhabit the North Sea and English Channel. Let’s speak to Marthe, an Ocean Conservationist onboard our Newhaven – Dieppe route. 

Please introduce yourself! 

Hello, my name is Marthe. I am from France and have been an Ocean Conservationist since February 2022. I joined the Newhaven – Dieppe route in May 2022. 

Why and how did you become an ORCA Ocean Conservationist? 

I have always loved nature and from a young age wanted to work with animals. I studied Conservation Biology and specialised in the conservation of marine life (specifically dolphins and whales). Thanks to ORCA, I’m now able to do what I love.  

What marine life is possible to see on the Dieppe-Newhaven route? 

You can find such a diversity of cetaceans on the Newhaven – Dieppe route. From elusive harbour porpoises to long-finned pilot whales, from the common dolphin to the bottlenose dolphin, there is plenty to see. If we are lucky, you can even spot a humpback whale or a minke.  

There is also a great diversity of fish, including the hug sunfish and the basking shark – the second largest fish in the world! 

It’s not just limited to marine life either. There is also a great diversity of bird species, including; gannets, kittiwakes, puffins, arctic terns, razorbills and even the guillemot. 

What’s your favourite marine life that you’ve spotted whilst onboard? 

My favourite marine life to spot onboard is the harbour porpoise. That species can be difficult to spot due to their shy nature. When porpoises notice ships, they often move further away, meaning you usually only see them onshore. So, when a porpoise is visible from onboard, it is a very special moment… and a very friendly porpoise!  

Please describe your day-to-day life whilst onboard the ship? 

Every morning I embark at Dieppe at 10:30 am. Once settled, I will speak to passengers before a presentation about the English Channel’s marine wildlife. 

After lunch with the crew, I can be found outside on deck watch with fellow marine enthusiasts!  

We stay in Newhaven port for 3 hours, preparing for the next crossing, and excited to meet the passengers. 

What is your favourite part of your job?  

My favourite part is interacting with all the passengers that come onboard. It’s a chance for us both to learn from each other’s experiences, and I love learning new facts! 

Why is it important to have ORCA Ocean Conservationists onboard Côte d’Albâtre and Seven Sisters? 

Having Ocean Conservationists onboard is essential in multiple aspects.  

Firstly, the passengers! A chance to learn more about the marine environment, and how we can protect it.  

Secondly, it helps increase interest and discussion in essential subjects like ecology, preservation and conservation.   

Finally, Ocean Conservationists aim to protect whales and dolphins through monitoring. Thanks to our presence on the ship, we can increase the conservation of those animals.  

What is your favourite thing about being onboard Côte d’Albâtre and Seven Sisters? 

My favourite thing about being onboard the Côte d’Albâtre and the Seven Sisters is the crew. They have been so welcoming and have taught me a lot about the ferry we work on. Speaking to them is an essential part of my day onboard! 

How long will you be onboard Côte d’Albâtre and Seven Sisters – what season is it possible to see marine life on this route?  

I will be onboard until mid-September. It has been such an amazing experience so far, and I want to enjoy every moment to the fullest! 

There is no season where you cannot see wildlife on the English Channel, but summertime is when there is the most diversity in the cetaceans.  

What is one fun fact about yourself? 

Surprisingly, I love the sea when the waves are rough! It’s such a fun feeling getting rocked by the boat. 

We hope you come and join ORCA Ocean Conservationist, Marthe on watch and help protect our marine life. 

Book your crossing from Newhaven – Dieppe here, or play our game to see what marine life you could spot with ORCA and DFDS! 

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