Renowned marine conservationist and author makes move to Bridport (From Bridport and Lyme Regis News)
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Renowned marine conservationist and author makes move to Bridport
A RENOWNED marine conservationist, researcher and author has recently moved to Bridport.
Erich Hoyt, an American-Canadian who has lived with his family in North Berwick, Scotland, for the last 23 years, is well known in the scientific community for his extensive work with whales and dolphins.
Now he is celebrating the release of his latest book, Weird Sea Creatures, which offers a glimpse into the lives of the bizarre and rarely photographed creatures living in the ocean depths.
Erich hopes the book will spark further interest in deep-sea ecology, an exciting field which remains largely unexplored.
“We’re right at the beginning of learning about these creatures,” he said.
“The late 1990s saw the beginning of this era of learning about the deep sea, and with around three new species named per day and over 1,000 per year, it’s an incredible time to be getting involved in the research.
“We know less about the ocean’s depths than we do about the moon or Mars.”
Ever since his first work with Orca whales in the 1980s, Erich has been engaged in the issue of marine conservation, and he says that the alien-looking organisms he is currently studying are no less in need of protection than whales or dolphins.
Working with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Global Marine Protected Areas Programme, Erich has been striving to protect the fragile deep sea habitats which are under threat from commercial fishing and the hydrocarbon industry.
With protected areas making up just two per cent of the marine environment – compared to 12 per cent on land – there is still much to be done.
Author and co-author of some 20 books, Erich has travelled the world as part of his writing and research, from Costa Rican rainforests to the seas of Russia. He has also lectured at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has won several prizes for his international work.
An admirer and later correspondent of Lyme Regis’s famous novelist John Fowles, Erich has long felt an attachment to the local area.
He regularly jogs along the coast, always on the lookout for dolphins.
“That’s the magical thing about the sea here. You never know what will turn up,” he said.
“Right now I’m soaking the area in, but I’m sure a book will come out of it at some point.”
Weird Sea Creatures offers detailed photos and observations of ‘50 of the oddest creatures you will ever meet in the sea’ and is written for ages 10 to adult. It was released in the UK in July and is available on Amazon and in book shops.