Author Erin Pettifer and Graeme Lyons
Today is a global celebration of our ocean Ė World Oceans Day. People all around the world are celebrating the wondrous diversity of life we have in our seas.
Coral reefs in warm, crystal clear waters may be the image that springs to mind for most people, but the reality is that we donít have to venture quite so far afield to witness some of the riches our ocean has to offer. . .
Rocky reefs cloaked with colourful sponges, anemones and soft corals. Fish as bright and wonderfully patterned as anything you might find on a coral reef. Even the magical seahorse, sharks, dolphins and porpoises . . . all these and more can be found off the Sussex coast!
Graeme Lyons, our ecologist at Sussex Wildlife Trust, has recently been wowed by the amazing marine life we have off Sussex by coming on one of our regular Shoresearches.
"Itís really easy to go rock pooling. Just look online for a low tide time at a suitable time of day and go down to the shore with wellies, a strong net and a white tray. One afternoon we managed to catch four species of fish: long-spined sea scorpion, corkwing wrasse, five-bearded rockling and the small-headed clingfish. The clingfish was quite a find and I hadnít even heard of it. Add to this the seaweeds, crustaceans, molluscs and other strange creatures and it really is like a whole new world of natural history. What other strange creatures are lurking out there? Best of all in Brighton, itís right on your doorstep!"
Please do help us with our work to protect the marine environment if this has sparked an interest. Itís an incredibly important time for marine conservation with our governmentís unprecedented commitment to designate a network of marine protected areas.
Running alongside our Petition Fish campaign to show public support for marine protected areas, we are launching our Friends of 127 Marine Conservation Zones campaign TODAY! Fancy becoming an ambassador for a marine conservation zone in your local area?