Seasearch Logo

Seasearch News

Updated 19th November 2015

Seasearch 2015 Data tops 1,100 forms

Seasearch is all about collecting data for conservation. Now the diving season is coming to an end we are concentrating on getting all of this year's records in and registered. So far we have 1105 forms recorded and the map shows where they have come from. 51% of them (568 forms) are Observation Forms, 46% (504) are Survey Forms, and 3% (31) are crawfish, sea fan or horse mussel records.

At present 59% (648) of the forms come from sites in England, 18% (200) from Scotland, 9% (100) from Wales and 7% (78) from the Channel Islands. The remaining 7% are from Ireland (53), and Isle of Man (24).

There are certainly more in the pipeline. Please send your forms off as soon as possible so we can get to work on data entry. You can see that we have no records this year from Shetland, Outer Hebrides, NW England and much of Ireland. If you've dived in any of these areas your records would be especially welcome.




Rare anemone find on Seasearch dives in Scotland

Late October saw the last of our planned survey dives for 2015 (has it come to that time of year already?). The location was South Skye but the most exciting find was a very rare anemone, Anemonactis mazeli, at two sites 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 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 is now completed and we are getting a number of people completing their Seasearch qualifications after the summer of diving and surveying.

Since the beginning of October 18 of our volunteers have completed their Seasearch Qualifications. They are:

Seasearch Observers - James Matthews (Jersey), Jayn Johnson (Jersey), Eve Taylor-Cox (Jersey),Charlotte Hooper (Jersey), Kathleen Cowie (Scotland), Sascha Ley (England), James Lynott (Scotland), Karl Mason (Wales), Nicki Meharg (Wales), Dimitris Xanthis (Wales), Phil Beale (England), Elaine Barber (England). Robert Sewell (Scotland), Jim Mc Dougall (England), Ben Moore (England) and Simon Loveday (England).

Seasearch Surveyors - Nick Owen (England) and Lisa Kamphausen (Scotland).

Congratulations to them all.


Seasearch surveys in the Manacles MCZ

September 26th saw what was probably the last of our dives in the Manacles MCZ this year. 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. Now to write it all up into a report for all to use if the quarry proposals progress.



Seasearch on the BBC

Seasearch Tutor and diver Nic Faulks featured on BBC TV's Countryfile on 19th July. If you missed it you can catch up with it here. Nic explains what Seasearch is all about and shows how we record using one of her own Survey Forms.

Seasearch in Northern Ireland featured on Radio 4's Open Country. Seasearch NI Coordinator Claire Goodwin was on board talking about the records made by Seasearch of climate changes species like the red blenny. You can catch it here.


Seasearch Data for 2014 and Annual Report now available

One of the principles of Seasearch is that the data that our volunteer divers collect should be available for all to use for conservation and research purposes. Over last winter all of the 2014 data was entered into the Marine Recorder database and we also reviewed and amended some of the older data - particularly improving positioning for shore dives which is now much easier with the advent of web mapping. In that format it has already been circulated to the conservation agencies in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man and to records centres in Ireland and the Channel Islands.The main access for everybody else is the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) and the species data is now live on that for everybody to access and use. The map shows the spread of MCS surveys from 1977-1990 and of Seasearch surveys from 1995-2014. This is a great resource for dive planning if you want to help fill the gaps. Even at a Britain and Ireland scale you can see that we need more records from the east coasts of Scotland and Ireland and if you zoom in the local gaps are much more obvious to see.

To use the NBN go to and search using just the Seasearch records by clicking the Browse Datasets tab and entering Seasearch in the Search box. You'll find there are 8 Seasearch datasets - one each forEngland, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands which contain all the Observation and Survey form records and separate datasets for our Sea Fan and Crawfish survey data. Alternatively you can search by species - but you will have to log in to look at individual records.

Also now published is the Annual Report for 2014. This contains a summary of the main surveys and the species and habitats recorded, cncentrating on the priority species and habitats as well as rare and non-native species. It is being circulated by email to all on our database but can slao be downloaded here:

Seasearch Annual Report 2014

These data and report are a real testimony to the skills and dedication of the hundreds of volunteer divers from all walks of lifeover the years who make Seasearch what it is.


Seasearch working with Dive Clubs

A couple of examples of Seasearch working with local divers in the last week. On Sunday 28th June we held an Observer Course in a fire station for members of Bury and SubSea SACs who went on to take part in a joint club expedition to Northern Ireland. Wendy Northway and Chris Wood ran the training day and the members are linked up with Seasearch NI Coordinator/Tutor Claire Goodwin at Rathlin Island for their training and qualification dives.

On Monday 29th June Seasearchers Sally Sharrock, Keith Hiscock and Chris Wood joined members of Ilfracombe and North Devon SAC to look at unrecorded sites on the North coast of Devon. Thanks to Shaun Galliver, Keith Denby and Mel for looking after us and club member Mags Ashton is seen in the photo filling in her Survey Form after the first dive with guidance from Sally. We were filmed for a series of short films called Boat Stories - hence the fluffy intrusive camera in the picture - and Mags' hidden face! (thanks to Keith for the picture).

If you want to see the resulting film go to: Every Dive is an Adventure

Seasearch enjoys working with clubs. Do contact National Coordinator Chris Wood or your local Seasearch Coordinator if you would like to work together on courses, expedition ideas or just suggestions of where data from your club would help us increase the Seasearch data available for conservation.







Latest Seasearch News

Seasearch Information Pages


Aims & Objectives

Seasearch History

Who is involved

Seasearch Training

Seasearch Recording
Seasearch Diving
Seasearch Nationwide
Seasearch Achievements

Seasearch Contacts

Seasearch Shop