19 April 2018 | Posted in Marine
stalked jellyfish / Jim Howell

By Sarah Ward

Living Seas Officer

Shoresearch is a Wildlife Trust initiative to survey intertidal habitats and species in order to collect a long-term dataset, monitor changes, and inform decision- and policy-makers. Shoresearch is run using the man-power of volunteers and we welcome those of all levels of knowledge to take part.

We had a fantastic survey season during 2017 and saw the sun on nearly every survey! We visited a total of 11 sites, five of which are situated within a designated or recommended Marine Conservation Zone, and two of which were new sites for Sussex Shoresearch. We were joined this year by 56 individual volunteers, some of whom attended multiple surveys and others of whom came to their most local event – this added up to a total of 269 hours of volunteer time. So before we go any further – a HUGE thank you to all of you who came along, turned over rocks, lifted back seaweed, identified species, and shared knowledge and enthusiasm!

A whopping 142 species were identified during Sussex Shoresearch in 2017; this was made up of 10 different groupings or taxa. Algae (seaweed) was the most well-represented group, with 33 species being identified, followed by molluscs (30 species) and crustaceans (21 species). Echinoderms (starfish, brittle stars, sea urchins, etc.) was the least well-represented grouping (four species).

Peacehaven was the most diverse site, with a total of 54 species identified. The Pound (Eastbourne) and Bexhill were very close behind, both with a total of 53 species identified.

We found a handful of new species this year, but our most exciting find was the stalked jellyfish, Calvadosia campanulata, found at Peacehaven.

Looking forward to this year, we’ve got an action-packed schedule starting with a refresher session at the end of April. We’re also going to be introducing more quantitative methods of surveying to supplement our ‘walkover’ surveys and some of the sites – these include timed species searches and transect surveys.

Find out more

Watch our Shoresearch film

Leave a comment