9th February 2016
Bolton is new National Coordinator!
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
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!
Wood, National Coordinator
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.
Courses and Dives for 2016
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.
hope to see many of you in the sea when conditions improve and,
as always, look forward to seeing what you have recorded.
New English Marine Conservation Zones Designated
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).
measures for the new sites are still to be announced.
more information go to the MCS
2015 Data tops 1,390 forms
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.
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).
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.
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.
anemone find on Seasearch dives in Scotland
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.
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.
Courses and Qualifications 2015
programme of Seasearch Courses for 2015 ended in November by which
time we had run over 40 Observer, Surveyor and Specialist courses.
the beginning of November 10 of our volunteers completed their Seasearch
Qualifications. They are:
Observers - Ben Moore (England), Simon Loveday (England), Martin
Hynd (Scotland), Vanessa Charles (Scotland), Mark Berrie (Scotland)
and Jess Mead (England).
Surveyors - Paula Young (England), Peter Bardsley (England), Glenn
King (England) and Hayden Close (Wales).
to them all.
surveys in the Manacles MCZ
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