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Updated 29th January 2015

Seasearch Marine Conservation Zone Reports submitted

We have submitted 15 Seasearch reports of surveys carried out in 2014 in proposed and existing Marine Conservation Zones in England. These are intended to add information for the forthcoming consultation on the second tranche of MCZs in England and also keep up the pressure from effective managemnt measures in the first round designated in November 2013.

The reports have been sent to Natural England together with the complete data for 2014 for sites in England and photographs of priority habitats and species in the sites concerned.

All of the reports can be downloaded from the Achievements page of this site.

The Second tranche sites are:Bembridge (Isle of Wight) , Coquet to St Marys (Northumberland), Cromer Shoal (Norfolk), Dover to Deal, Dover to Folkestone, Hartland to Tintagel (Devon & Cornwall), Runswick Bay (Yorkshire), Studland Bay (Dorset), The Needles (Isle of Wight), Utopia (Hants/IOW/Sussex), Yarmouth to Cowes (Isle of Wight).

The Existing MCZs reported on are: Beacjy Head West (Sussex), Kingmere (Sussex), Skerries Bank (Devon), Torbay (Devon).


Seasearch Day at the Natural History Museum - book now for last minute spaces

Sunday 1st February will be Seasearch Day at the Natural History Museum in London. It will be an opportunity to meet tutors and coordinators, hear about what Seasearch has been doing in 2014 and our plans for 2015, have a look at progress with online recording and new training and promotional videos, take part in a photo clinic and have a behind the scenes tour of the zoology section of the museum. There is no charge for attending but you will need to book your place as numbers are limited. Contact Chris Wood if you want to join us.


Welcome to 2015

2015 dawned damp and gloomy but that did not deter Seasearchers in Dorset taking a New Year's Day dip. Your National Coordinator did not fancy the murk but i did get a swim in yesterday in winter sunshine before the winds got up down in Devon and very 'bracing' it was too. The climb back up the cliff path was a great warmer.

Two Seasearchers have celebrated the new year by becoming Seasearch Surveyors. They are Becky Gill (Cornwall) and Carol Horne (Anglesey). Congratulations to them both.

We now have the first dates for surveys and courses in 2015 available. There are only two Observer Courses confirmed so far but there are many more in the planning stage and they will be posted on the Training page of the website as soon as dates are available.

Survey dives planned so far include surveys linked to Bioblitzes being organised by the National Trust in North East England and Sussex, boat dives from Devon to the Isle of Wight and liveaboard surveys at the extemities of our area the Channel Islands and Scapa Flow. Go to the Survey Dives page to see the list so far. Again there are many more surveys being planned and dates will be added when confirmed.


2014 Data Entry now well underway

The number of Seasearch Forms this year has now reached 1,543 and entry of the data into the Marine Recorder database is well underway. First priority is being given to forms from the proposed second tranche of Marine Conservation Zones in England where we want the data to be available to inform responses to the public consultation in the spring. The remainder of the data should be completed by the end of March and will be made available for everybody to use as usual on the National Biodiversity Network (NBN).

for the first time we have received more Survey Forms (786) than Observation Forms (717). This is a measure of how the quality of the records we receive has increased as Survey Forms typically provide three times as much information as Observation Forms.

However, at present, the number of all records is still well down on the final figure for previous years. If you have forms you have not yet sent in please do so immediately so they can be entered along with the rest of the 2014 data.

A map (image right) has been created showing all of the sites recorded this year so far. You can download the file here and open it in Google Earth.

Of the forms received 61% come from sites in England, the majority from, Dorset (202), East Anglia (175) and Cornwall (169). Outside of England most records are from Wales (207), Scotland (136) and Ireland (108).


Pea Soup - how bad has the visibility been in 2014?

We have heard so many people say how poor underwater visibility has been throughout the year in many places, particularly in the English Channel and in Wales. The Seasearch records all include an estimate of underwater visibility and thus it should be possible to compare 2014 with previous years at different places around the British and Irish coasts. We don't have the 2014 data entered into the database yet but we will have come the spring there will then be the opportunity for somebody to interpret the data we have and make an interesting report/paper/article about it.
Does anybody want to have a go? Please get in touch if you are interested through


We need your photos and video

Seasearch currently has two projects running for which we are looking for high quality photos and video from participants.

The fourth in our series of identification guides is in preparation and is due to be published next year. The subject is Sponges and Sea Squirts and is being written by Claire Goodwin (sponges) and David Kipling and Sarah Bowen (sea squirts). We always like to include pictures from a wide variety of locations in the guides and it is also the opportunity to showcase some of the best ID pictures from Seasearchers. We have a hotlist of sponge images needed which can be downloaded sponge list and there will be a sea squirts list to come soon. If you want to contribute your images contact Chris Wood and he will send you a Dropbox link to upload them.

The second project is to do a makeover of our training and promotional videos. The ones we have been using are now over ten years old and have begun to look their age. We want to do a complete makeover and this time would like to include high definition video supplied by Seasearch participants. This will allow us to have a much more diverse library of training dives available for the tutors to use wherever we are holding our courses. Again there is a specification you can download Seasearch Video Makeover and again please contact Chris Wood to let us know what you think you are going to be able to provide. In most cases this will involve taking new footage as the training sequences need to be very slow indeed so people have time to both look and record. Again we will provide a Dropbox for video to be downloaded. This project is supported by the Field Studies Council.

For both of these projects I am afraid we cannot pay for images and video. However you'll be fully acknowledged and of course receive a copy of the completed book/film as appropriate.









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