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UK enforces licensing for photographing seahorses in Studland


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#21 decosnapper

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 10:13 AM

Legal disclaimer - I'm not a lawyer........

Here goes:-

Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.
Section 16 - Power to grant licenses:-

(5) ©may be subject to compliance with any specified conditions;

Taken from Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981

Its my interpretation (reminder - get legal advice, not internet heresay!) that the above gives those who issue the license(s) the power to add specific conditions.

The question remains is would a judge consider flash photography, based on no (that I am aware of) scientific research or grounds, consider the restriction 'reasonable'? And would anyone want to actually test this in court? Two questions, one answered with 'who knows?' and the other with 'unlikely to never'. Wetpixelers can make their own guesses as to which answer goes with which question.....

Plan B - Paul's 'appealing the ban' - appears to be the least painless option.
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#22 scubamarli

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 11:51 AM

I received a lengthy reply from the administrator of the Seahorse Trust. It was never mentioned that this ruling only applied to one area. There also seemed to be a personal bent to this that I don't wish to address in a public forum. Ironically, his personal Facebook page profile photo someone holding a seahorse in their fist. Good grief; talk about stressing seahorses.

I am all for being sensitive to stressing of marine life as an underwater photographer. However, I think that laws need to be applied based on fact and scientific research.

Cheers,
Marli

Legal disclaimer - I'm not a lawyer........

Here goes:-

Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.
Section 16 - Power to grant licenses:-

(5) may be subject to compliance with any specified conditions;

Taken from Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981

Its my interpretation (reminder - get legal advice, not internet heresay!) that the above gives those who issue the license(s) the power to add specific conditions.

The question remains is would a judge consider flash photography, based on no (that I am aware of) scientific research or grounds, consider the restriction 'reasonable'? And would anyone want to actually test this in court? Two questions, one answered with 'who knows?' and the other with 'unlikely to never'. Wetpixelers can make their own guesses as to which answer goes with which question.....

Plan B - Paul's 'appealing the ban' - appears to be the least painless option.


Edited by scubamarli, 17 May 2011 - 04:20 PM.

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#23 Paul Kay

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 12:10 PM

There also seemed to be a personal bent to this that I don't wish to address in a public forum. Ironically, his personal Facebook page profile photo someone holding a seahorse in their first. Good grief; talk about stressing seahorses.

You are quite correct not to address such matters publicly. All I will say is that there are issues which may finally surface which will explain more about what has been going on. What would be really useful is some feedback from anyone involved in scientific studies of seahorses in the wild. Aquarium studies are potentially of stressed animals and extrapolating their behaviour into a wild scenario needs to be discouraged.
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#24 jlyle

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 06:10 AM

Bear in mind that photographing a bird at its nest in the UK is only possible under licence and I am pretty sure that prosecutions have been made when no licence has been held.


How does one get a license and how much does it cost? Just curious and still flabbergasted in California.

Do you have to show the license to the bird before you take its picture?

Edited by jlyle, 18 May 2011 - 06:13 AM.

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#25 Paul Kay

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 01:06 PM

How does one get a license and how much does it cost? Just curious and still flabbergasted in California.

Do you have to show the license to the bird before you take its picture?

I think that you have to submit evidence to show that you know what you are doing and that you understand the issues of disturbance of a bird at its nest - no cost. (The RSPB is a powerful lobby in the UK and has an enormous membership so birds are quite well protected over here).

Of course you don't show the bird - that would disturb it :) .
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#26 Paul Kay

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 01:11 AM

This topic has reared its (ugly or ridiculous?) head once again with an article by Neil Garrick-Maidment of the Seahorse Trust on page 122 of the November issue of Diver magazine in which he again suggests that flash photography is a problem for seahorses.

 

In it he comments about 'a very small group of divers' who 'tried to suggest that natural light is the same as flash, and that flash does not kill seahorses" which I suspect is a reference to myself amongst others and whilst badly worded, in that in my opinion it gives an incorrect impression of what actually happened, goes on to say 'They challenged MMO [the Marine Management Organisation which has banned the use of flash photography of seahorses in England] to prove that it does" which again is not quite the way I remember things - unless you consider that carefully worded emails to the MMO, which were basically designed to be informative, to be a 'challenge'. Interestingly a recent paper by Harasti & Gladstone in the Journal of Fish Biology entitled “Does underwater flash photography affect the behaviour movement and site persistence of seahorses” which looked at Hippocampus whitei, a not dis-similar Australian species, found ‘negligible effects’ (even following additional handling as well as flash photography) on the seahorses, and far from suggesting that flash photography should be banned, suggests that it is in fact a potentially useful tool for obtaining scientific data.

 

I wonder if the two are linked or simply co-incidental?


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