11th November 2013
data for 2013 up to 1,370 Forms - Have you got more to send us?
have now received 1,370 record forms from dives in 2013 and expect
the number to go up further as people finish off their forms and
send them in. Most of them come from England (59%), followed by
Ireland (11%), Wales (10%), Scotland (9%), Channel Islands (6%)
and the Isle of Man (4%). In England the most forms are from Devon
(20%), followed by Dorset
(18%), East Anglia and North-East England (16% each).
far 56% of the records have been Observation Forms, 43% Survey Forms
and 1% sea fan and fireworks anemone forms.
Google Earth map of the records received up to the end of August
can be downloaded here Seasearch
Forms 31-08-13 and maps of the data so far are shown below.
figures are certainly an underestimate as there is always a delay
between dives taking place and receiving, logging and mapping the
you have completed Seasearch Forms ready to send off, or even uncompleted
ones you still need to finish, now it the time to get them polished
off and sent to us so they can go into the records for 2013. We
always enter the data at the end of the year and make it available
to all our users the following spring so the sooner we have your
forms the sooner the data can go into our databse and be used for
look forward to seeing them as soon as possible.
Training and Qualifications
programme of Observer, Surveyor and Specialist Courses for 2013
is now almost completed. Go to the Training
page so see the remaining courses planned. Meanwhile
we hope that many of those who have been on courses this year have
been out and about completing their qualifying Seasearch Forms.
October and so fan in November 6 volunteers completed their Observer
Qualification. They are Erica Stirrett (E), Dave Holmes (E), Anne
Corkhill (IOM), Kathryn Fowler (IOM), Anne Cummings (NI) and Chris
to them all.
Anemones and Corals Second Edition
you've been trying to get hold of Seasearch Books and slates you
will have discovered that the link to the MCS Shop hasn't worked
for some while. However it is now back up and running at www.mcsuk.org/shop
Second Edition of the Guide to Anemones and Corals has just gone
to print and will be available early in December. It is a totally
new book with many more images, almost all new, and additional pages
about anemone research and associations.
the book is published it will be available at Seasearch events and
online through the link above.
Seasearch Coordinators and Tutors in Devon, Ireland, NW England
have welcomed three new Local Coordinators and one new Seasearch
tutor in the last month.
Webb has taken over Devon Seasearch from Sally Sharrock, who has
been one of our most active coordinators over the last nine years,
and consistenly encouraged the production of more Seasearch from
than from any other county. Chris has been one of the band of very
active Devon Seasearchers, is a Surveyor and, with her teaching
background, likely to be a tutor very soon, though Sally willstill
be on hand to help.
North West England, Wendy Northway (right) has taken over from Mandy
Knott. Wendy lives in Cheshire and is a very active diver and Seasearchers,
doing much of her Seasearch diving in North Wales andScotland. Its
a hard ask being NW coordinator as so liitle diving takes place
and Mandy hopes to be able to do more Seasearch diving in future
by being able to travel to other areas as well as continuing to
Sussex Olle Akesson from Sussex Wildlife Trust has taken over from
Chris Williams as Coordinator. This follows the decision of the
long standing Sussex Seasearch team to hand over coordination to
the Wildlife Trust, and we hope there will be a big increase in
activity back to the levels experienced in Sussex some years ago.
in Ireland Deirdre Greer (right) has become a Seasearch Tutor follwing
a successful Observer Course in Howth, Co. Dublin, at the end of
September. In recent years Deirdre has been the person completeing
the most Seasearch Forms (it was over 90 one year!) and she has
been active both in the Dublin area, on the west coast and in Northern
to the new Coordinators and many thanks to those who have stood
down for all their work in recent years. They will all remain involved
with Seasearch which is great.
Fan Survey Results on the NBN
results of the dedicated pink sea fan surveys carried out by Seasearch
since 2001 are now available to view on the national Biodiversity
Network (NBN) and you can see the interactive map of the data here
. We have also already published a number of reports which are available
to download from the Achievements
page of the website.
NBN data shows records for pink sea fans and also for three other
species commonly associated with them. These are the sea fan anemone
Ampthianthus dohrnii, the sea fan nudibranch Tritonia
nilsodhneri and the sea fan false cowrie, Simnia hiscocki.
The distribution of pink sea fans extends from Donegal in Ireland
to Wexford, South-West Wales, both coasts of Devon and Cornwall,
the Isles of Scilly and the whole of Dorset. The sea fan anemone
has a much more restricted distribution, covering the south coasts
of Devon and Cornwall and the isles of Scilly. The sea fan nudibranch
is found in most places where pink sea fans occur, though records
are very limited in Ireland. Finally the sea fan false cowrie, Simnia
hiscocki is a recently identified species and all older records
have been made as Simnia patula. All records of this species
on the NBN currently come from this new Seasearch dataset. Most
are from the south coast of Cornwall, though there are also records
from Lundy and South Devon. The dataset also includes personal records
of this species made by Keith Hiscock, after whom the species is
full dataset also includes information on sea fan colony size, condition
and fouling species. This does not show on the NBN but is available
for reports. The full dataset also includes records from the Channel
Islands. These are not currently displayed on the NBN website but
updates are taking place soon whcih allow all of the Seasearch data
for the Channel Islands to be made available online.
pictures show the false cowrie, Simnia hiscocki (left)
and the sea fan nudibranch Tritonia nilsodhneri (right)
Recording form and Guidance Notes for Pink Sea Fan recording have
just been updated and can be dowloaded: Pink
Sea Fan Recording Form Notes
for Pink Sea Fan recording are:
to look for sea fan forests, including those on deeper wrecks
to look at outlying populations
monitoring the condition of sea fan populations around Lundy
the presence of sea fan nudibranchs throughout the range
the presence of sea fan anemones throughout the range
the presence of false cowries, Simnia hiscocki, on sea fans.
you would like to help then all you need are the forms and something
to measure sea fans with (a Seasearch slate is ideal). We want to
get a general picture so if you see a number of sea fans try to
record a representative sample of them. Don't just choose the best
ones or the (worst).
can submit your records either on the paper forms or online. Just
go to the sea fan page for all the details.
picture is of some sea fans recorded at Mewstone Ledges in South
Devon on a recent Seasearch survey.
Seasearchers enjoy the summer sun
August was a dreadful month for diving but this one and the start
of September was been much better, allowing Seasearchers to get
out and enjoy sites all round the UK.
picture to the right is of Isle of Man seasearchers returning from
dives in the Ramsey Bay Marine Reserve including looking at the
maerl and eelgrass beds. The picture is taken just off Mangold Head
on the return journey to Port St Mary.
left is a Devon Seasearch group flying the flag in Bigbury Bay,
and below right is the Seasearch Squirt Team in the Firth of Lorn,
Spot the Shrimp time in the south
divers first reported the anemone shrimp (or prawn - you decide)
Periclimenes sagittifer on the north side of the
English Channel in 2007 and there have been records since
from Selsey in the east to Babbacombe in the west. Most of
the records are made in the autumn and this year we have had
recent sightings in Balaclava Bay, Portland (photo by James
So now is the time to start looking closely at your snakelocks
anemones - we'd like to continue to record where this new
species to English waters is turning up. Do let us know if
you see them.
surveys Squirts in Scottish Marine Protected Areas
Seasearch Team has spent a week in September diving in the Firth
of Lorn SAC and proposed MPAs at Loch Goil and Loch Sween.
numbers of sea squirts (the prime target for the survey)
at Balvicar Bluff and in Scotnish Narrows in Loch Sween
species Northern Sea Fans and Fireworks Anemones at various
diversity at Jeannie's Reef since the banning of dredging
in the Firth of Lorn
nudibranch Armina loveni feeding on Slender Sea
left: Sea Squirts and brittlestars at Scotnish Narrows. Roight:
Sea Fans football Seas Squirt and anothozoans at Jeannie's Reef,
Firth of Lorn
sea squirt surveys are part of a focus this year on gathering data
bout sea squirt distribution and species recognition which will
go into a new Seasearch Guide on Sponges and Ascidians which is
due for publication in 2014. The Scottish survey follows events
earlier in the year in both West and North Wales.
Scottish Marine Protected Areas proposals are currently out for
consultation. To help support the proposals, please respond to the
Band Fish at Brixham
of the dives arranged over the last weekend in August was out of
Torbay. Four good four dives were carried out despite a powerboat
race. They included useful eelgrass surveys and a couple of reef
dives in areas within the Torbay MCZ not previously covered. One
of them was on a 25m silt/mud seabed south of Berry Head where the
rarely recorded red band fish was spotted. Most sightings are in
enclosed muddy areas so finding it in a relatively exposed location
by Charlotte Bolton
picture is worth a 1000 words
is why we encourage Seasearch Observers to draw pictures of their
dives. We also say that its not essential that they are works of
art providing they tells us about your dive, but it's great to see
some that are.
are a couple of sketches from recent forms to inspire you!