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Seasearch News

Updated 6th March 2015


Seasearch Courses and Qualifications 2015

The Seasearch Courses arranged so far for 2015 are now on the Training page of the the website. Most divers new to Seasearch start with the Observer Course and courses arranged so far sre in Edinburgh, Tyneside, Yorkshire, Norfolk, Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Devon, Anglesey, Jersey and Cork, Galway and Dublin in Ireland. Others are still in the planning stage.

There are two Surveyor Courses planned so far, in Hampshire/Dorset and Devon, both during May.

Please book up early for our courses, in some cases there are minimum numbers we need to make sure a course goes ahead..

So far in 2015 six of our volunteers have cmpleted their Seasearch Qualifications. They are:

Seasearch Observers - Jessi Jennings (Channel Islands) and Colm Doyle (Ireland)

Seasearch Surveyors - Becky Gill (England), Carol Horne (Wales), Lonn Landis (Wales) and Rod Sterland (England).

Congratulations to them all.


Seasearch Marine Conservation Zone Reports submitted

We have submitted 17 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 current consultation on the second tranche of MCZs in England and also keep up the pressure from effective management 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:, Coquet to St Marys (Northumberland), Cromer Shoal (Norfolk), Dover to Deal, Dover to Folkestone, Hartland to Tintagel (Devon & Cornwall), Runswick Bay (Yorkshire),The Needles (Isle of Wight) and Utopia (Hants/IOW/Sussex),

Unfortunately Defra decided not to include a number of sites originally listed for the second trance in the consultation. Those for which we provided data and reports are: Bembridge (Isle of Wight), Studland Bay (Dorset) and Yarmouth to Cowes (Isle of Wight).

The Existing MCZs reported on are: Beachy Head West (Sussex), Chesil Beach and Stennis Ledges (Dorset), Kingmere (Sussex), Poole Rocks (Dorset), Skerries Bank (Devon) and Torbay (Devon).

We have also uploaded annual summaries for 2014 from Dorset, Kent and Northern Ireland and others are on the way. There is also a report of the 2014 Crawfish Survey in north Pembrokeshire.


2014 Data Entry now almost complete

The 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 being 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 is now underway. The checking 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 (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.

A 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.

Of the forms received 61% come from sites in England, the majority from, Dorset (202), Cornwall (179) and East Anglia (175). Outside of England most records are from Wales (207), Scotland (140) and Ireland (108).


Pea Soup - how bad was the visibility in 2014?

We have heard so many people say how poor underwater visibility has been throughout 2014 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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