12th May 2015
Seasearch Tutors for 2015
have two new Seasearch Tutors already this year following courses
in Cork and Plymouth. Tim Butter (seen one in from the left in the
group of divers after a dive in Ireland's first Marine Nature Reserve
at Lough Hyne) is the Irish Underwater Council Scientific Officer
and an active Seasearcher in ireland. Chris Webb (teaching on the
Plymouth course, below right is our Devon Seasearch Coordinator
and took us away with the fairies to go diving the following day.
Courses and Qualifications 2015
Seasearch Courses arranged so far for 2015 are now on the Training
page of the the website and the course programme is now well underway.
Most divers new to Seasearch start with the Observer Course and
courses arranged so far range from Aberdeen to Jersey with those
taking place within the next month in Kent, Northern Ireland, Galway
Dorset and Cornwall. Others are still in the planning stage.
are two Surveyor Courses planned so far, in Devon and Hampshire/Dorset,
both during May.
book up early for our courses, in some cases there are minimum numbers
we need to make sure a course goes ahead.
far in April and May three of our volunteers have cmpleted their
Seasearch Qualifications. They are:
Observers - John Yarroe (England) and Hugh Waite (England)
Surveyors - Emma Collins (England)..
to them all.
Fans survive the storms
latest Seasearch Report to go live covers our dedicated Sea Fan
surveys in 2014. Sea fans are a priority species because of their
fragility and slow growth and are one of the features highlighted
in the MCZ process. Seasearch has been studying sea fans for over
120 years and we have a good idea of where the densest populations
are, which condition they are in and what the geographical spread
of the species is.
2014 we targeted sites along the south coast of Devon, Cornwall
and Dorset where we feared the population might have suffered badly
during the 2013-4 winter storms. Thankfully the damage was limited
and populations at sites such as The Manacles (photo right), the
Eddystone, the Plymouth Drop Off and Lyme Bay remain in good condition.
also continued our monitoring on Lundy, an area badly affected by
disease in the early 2000s. Recovery is slow. Many colonies have
recovered to a significant extent with dead central areas where
they have been diseased and living growth around the edges. What
is not occurring is the growth of new colonies. This is a simialr
situation to the sunset corals on the island, Both species are towards
the northerly extent of their range on Lundy and recruitment of
new colonies and individuals seems to be infrequent.
can download the report Sea
Fan Survey Report 2014 and the data will be on the NBN soon.
Data Entry now complete
number of Seasearch Forms received from dives in 2014 has now reached
1,554 and all of the data has been entered into the Marine Recorder
database. First priority was given to forms from the proposed second
tranche of Marine Conservation Zones in England where we wanted
the data to be available to inform responses to the public consultation
which has just finished. The data has been checked and distributed
to Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural Resources
Wales, DOE Northern Ireland, Isle of Man Government and Joint Nature
Conservation Committee. It will beavailable for everybody to use
as usual on the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) shortly.
the first time we received more Survey Forms (792) than Observation
Forms (721). 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.
map (image right) has been created showing all of the sites recorded
this year. You can download the file here
and open it in Google Earth.
the forms received 61% came from sites in England, the majority
from, Dorset (202), Cornwall (179) and East Anglia (175). Outside
of England most records were from Wales (207), Scotland (140) and
need your photos and video
currently has two projects running for which we are looking for
high quality photos and video from participants.
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.
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
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.