The Deep crit­i­cises cruise ter­mi­nal bid

The Deep at­tacks £60m plans for ship ter­mi­nal

Yorkshire Post - - FRONT PAGE - ALEXAN­DRA WOOD NEWS COR­RE­SPON­DENT ■ Email: [email protected] ■ Twit­ter: @york­shire­post

WILDLIFE: Pen­guins at one of York­shire’s top vis­i­tor attractions could be left se­verely stressed and an­i­mal breed­ing pat­terns could be dis­turbed if plans for a £60m cruise ter­mi­nal go ahead.

Man­agers at The Deep in Hull has for­mally no­ti­fied Hull Coun­cil of their ob­jec­tions to pro­pos­als for the ter­mi­nal.

PEN­GUINS AT one of York­shire’s top vis­i­tor attractions could be left se­verely stressed and an­i­mal breed­ing pat­terns could be dis­turbed if plans for a £60m cruise ter­mi­nal go ahead.

Man­agers at The Deep in Hull has for­mally no­ti­fied Hull Coun­cil of their ob­jec­tions to pro­pos­als for the ter­mi­nal, a key part of the City Plan. Bosses have an ar­ray of con­cerns, from the longterm im­pact on the aquar­ium’s an­i­mals to in­creased traf­fic congestion, as well as noise and air pol­lu­tion from the ter­mi­nal just 260ft away.

Among the con­cerns is noise from en­gines, horns and loud Tan­noy an­nounce­ments that could star­tle and stress the birds, po­ten­tially af­fect­ing their breed­ing pat­terns.

The noise of pile driv­ing dur­ing con­struc­tion has been shown to even cause “im­me­di­ate death” in the wild to some fish species, ex­perts have warned.

The Deep’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, Katy Duke, said: “It could frighten the birds which could cause them dam­age – they could harm each other, or run into some­thing or fall into some­thing.

“If stress builds up in them it could com­pro­mise their im­mune sys­tem.”

It comes af­ter plans for a cruise ter­mi­nal at Green­wich on the Thames were ditched by de­vel­op­ers. The ter­mi­nal was granted ap­proval in 2015, but Green­wich Coun­cil pulled out over pol­lu­tion con­cerns. Cam­paign­ers claim one ship would emit the same amount of pol­lu­tion as 600 lor­ries.

The plans in Hull en­vis­age cruise ships dock­ing off Sammy’s Point, next to The Deep, which breeds some of the rarest species in the world, in­clud­ing the green saw­fish and the Mex­i­can walk­ing fish.

Bod­ies in­clud­ing the World As­so­ci­a­tion of Zoos and Aquar­i­ums and the Bri­tish and Ir­ish As­so­ci­a­tion of Zoos have con­cerns over the im­pact on col­lec­tions, which in­clude 245 species some of which are crit­i­cally en­dan­gered.

Blue Planet Aquar­ium also raised fears, say­ing aquatic species were “no­to­ri­ously sen­si­tive” to vi­bra­tion and con­struc­tion would “cer­tainly pose a health and wel­fare risk” to pen­guins, as well as sharks, bony fish and oc­to­pus and cut­tle­fish.

The Zo­o­log­i­cal So­ci­ety of East Anglia went as far as say­ing The Deep – “one of the best aquar­i­ums in the world” – may no longer be able to house pen­guins and sharks be­cause of the im­pact on their wel­fare, adding: “This will have a ma­jor ef­fect on your abil­ity to at­tract vis­i­tors and achieve your mis­sion.”

Fig­ures sug­gest about 20,000 tourists a year will ac­tu­ally visit the city with 40 per cent board­ing coaches to places such as York, and 20 per cent stay­ing on board – against the 460,000 vis­i­tors to the Deep, which has a turnover of £7m and em­ploys 160 staff.

Deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive Neil Por­teus added: “We are not against the ter­mi­nal if it brings in ex­tra vis­i­tors, but we think it will dis­place ex­ist­ing vis­i­tors.

“The con­cern is the Deep will gain this rep­u­ta­tion that it is dif­fi­cult to get to. We wrote to the coun­cil in 2017 to set out our con­cerns. We have been talk­ing to them to alleviate our con­cerns.

“The let­ter we sent (re­cently) was be­cause we con­cluded that they weren’t tak­ing us se­ri­ously and don’t be­lieve those con­cerns could be mit­i­gated in any event.”

The Deep prefers an al­ter­na­tive lo­ca­tion at St An­drew’s Quay, which would have bet­ter park­ing.

This will have a ma­jor ef­fect on your abil­ity to at­tract vis­i­tors The Zo­o­log­i­cal So­ci­ety of East Anglia backs The Deep in its bat­tle against the cruise ter­mi­nal.

PIC­TURES: PA WIRE.

DEEPLY DIS­TURBED: Gen­too pen­guins at The Deep in Hull Ma­rina are at risk of stress if plans for a £60m cruise ter­mi­nal go ahead.

STRESS WOR­RIES: Pen­guins and other ma­rine an­i­mals – some en­dan­gered – could be se­verely stressed and may stop breed­ing.

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