Author Olle Ĺkesson
Living Seas Officer
Seasearch is a volunteer organisation where divers record animals and plants they see during their dive. The information they collect provides valuable habitat maps and species distributions that we wouldn’t have the resources to get otherwise.
Anyone can become a Seasearch Diver. You need to have a diving qualification and attend a short course in marine identification and how to record your observations. And that’s it. Just record what you see on any dive you go on and send your forms to Seasearch.
The records are compiled and used to inform management on local and national levels. They have been used to inform the selection of marine Sites of Nature Conservation Importance in Sussex, the national Recommended Marine Conservation Zones and most recently they are being used in the creation of the marine plans.
Sussex Wildlife Trust and the Sussex branch of Seasearch have joined forces to make Sussex Wildlife Trust the local coordinator for Seasearch. For divers who just want to send their observations in, please keep doing so, but this is an exciting opportunity to get more involved. Starting next year we will be setting up targeted surveys to get a better idea of what is occurring in the waters around Sussex, what effect the Marine Conservation Zones will have and the spread of invasive and indicator species.
The more Seasearch dives carried out the better the data gets, so Seasearch divers are always in demand.
If you already are, or are interested in becoming, a Seasearch diver have a look at the Seasearch website. Sussex Seasearch doesn’t have a website but there is a twitter feed, a facebook page and you can contact Olle Ĺkesson at the Sussex Wildlife Trust for more information.