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Seasearch News

Updated 9th February 2016

Charlotte Bolton is new National Coordinator!

I'm very glad to be able to tell you all that, after an exhausting round of interviews at MCS this week, Seasearch's new National Coordinator is Charlotte Bolton. As you probably know its a phased transition which will see Charlotte and I working side by side until the end of August when I bow out completely to spend more time underwater and in my pottery workshop. More details of how the job share is going to work later.
It was a hugely affirming experience to be reminded how much strength we have in depth in Seasearch. All of the people we interviewed were either exisitng or past local coordinators and the enthusiasm shown for carrying it on in the future was amazing. Thanks to them all.
As many of you will know Charlotte has been Seasearch Coordinator in Dorset for the past few years, she is also a Seasearch Tutor and has dealt with data entry so she has a great all-round knowledge of Seasearch. She has lots of ideas for improvements to the project too and it will be great for me to leave Seasearch in her capable hands. Watch out for those characteristic yellow frog fins on a dive near you soon!

Chris Wood, National Coordinator

And we have a new Coordinator in Scotland too. She is Natalie Hirst who is a Seasearch Observer and is a professional marine consultant with experience in Scottish marine protected area survey work.We are sure she will be a great asset to the team.
Thanks to Georgia Conolly for all her work over the last year or so. It has been a record year for Seasearch in Scotland with over 300 forms so Natalie has a hard act to follow.

 

 

 

 

 

Seasearch Courses and Dives for 2016

We are now well into planning Seasearch activities for 2016 and the lists of courses and survey dives are increasing on an almost daily basis. For the latest information go to the Training or Diving pages of this site or contact your local Coordinator. So far there are 9 Observer Courses listed from Newcastle to Jersey and over 30 survey dives. These range from single shore dives, through evening dives to weekends and a couple of week-long ones. Hopefully there will be something for everyone and of course there are lots more dates yet to be arranged.

We hope to see many of you in the sea when conditions improve and, as always, look forward to seeing what you have recorded.

 

 

23 New English Marine Conservation Zones Designated

The government has designated a further 23 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in England. A number of them are sites where Seasearch has carried out surveys and provided data to assist the designation. These include: Coquet to St Marys (Northumberland), Runswick Bay/Boulby (Yorkshire), Holderness Inshore (Yorkshire), Cromer Shoal Chalk Beds (Norfolk) pictured, Dover to Deal (Kent), Dover to Folksetone (Kent), Utopia (Sussex/Hampshire), The Needles (Isle of Wight), Mounts Bay (Cornwall), Lands End (Cornwall), Newquay and The Gannel (Cornwall) and hartland point ot Tintagel (Cornwall/Devon). This brings the total number of MCZs to 50 out of the 127 put forward by the regional teams. A number of sites also Seaseasrched remain unprotected such as Studland Bay (Dorset), Yarmouth and Bembridge (Isle of Wight) and Mixon Hole and Beachy head East (Sussex).

Management measures for the new sites are still to be announced.

For more information go to the MCS Website

 

 

Seasearch 2015 Data tops 1,390 forms

Seasearch is all about collecting and making data available for conservation. Now 2015 has ended we are concentrating on getting all of the year's records into the Marine Recorder database which has to be done before it can be distributed. So far we have 1,392 forms recorded and the map shows where they have come from. 53% of them (736 forms) are Observation Forms, 45% (625) are Survey Forms, and 2% (31) are crawfish, sea fan or horse mussel records.

At present 54% (753) of the forms come from sites in England, 21% (292) from Scotland, 10% (141) from Wales, 7% (102) from the Channel Islands, 6% from Ireland (75), and 2% from the Isle of Man (29).

The most prolific recorders in 2015 were: Dawn Watson (63 Survey and 3 Observation Forms), Sally Sharrock (38 Surv and 2 Obs Forms), Michael Southwood (40 Obs Forms), Emma Cristison (35 Obs Forms) and Chris Wood (28 Survey, 1 Obs & 4 sea fan forms). Thanks to them and to all of the other 250 volunteer recorders.

We know there are more forms still to come and we do need them at once if they are to get into the 2015 database. So far we have entered all of the data from Devon, Cornwall, North-East and Eastern England and the process is underway in other areas. We want to have everything entered by the end of February so we can check and merge it before making it available on the National Biodiversity Network and to Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural Resources Wales, DOENI, the National Biodiversity Centre in Ireland and others.

 

Rare anemone find on Seasearch dives in Scotland

Late October saw the last of our planned survey dives for 2015. The location was South Skye but the most exciting find was a very rare anemone, Anemonactis mazeli, at two sites nearby in Loch Duich. These are the first Seasearch records of this anemone ever and are particularly interesting as the literature suggests it is a deeper water species, but they were found here as shallow as 15m.

The photo is by Peter Bardsley. These records follow other exciting anemone sightings in Scotland this year - Arachnanthus sarsi and Fireworks anemone (Pachycerianthus multiplicatus), both from the Sound of Jura.

 

Seasearch Courses and Qualifications 2015

The programme of Seasearch Courses for 2015 ended in November by which time we had run over 40 Observer, Surveyor and Specialist courses.

Since the beginning of November 10 of our volunteers completed their Seasearch Qualifications. They are:

Seasearch Observers - Ben Moore (England), Simon Loveday (England), Martin Hynd (Scotland), Vanessa Charles (Scotland), Mark Berrie (Scotland) and Jess Mead (England).

Seasearch Surveyors - Paula Young (England), Peter Bardsley (England), Glenn King (England) and Hayden Close (Wales).

Congratulations to them all.

 

Seasearch surveys in the Manacles MCZ

September 26th saw the last of our dives in the Manacles MCZ in 2015. We have 40 records from the area potentially affected by the harbour works needed to re-open the quarry. This beautiful sea fan forest photographed on Sept 26th is less than half a mile south of Maen Land where the breakwater would go and directly in the current flow. All of the data is being written up in a report for all to use if the quarry proposals progress.


 

 

 

     

   

 


 

 

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