Cephalopod Recruitment from English-Channel Spawning Habitats (CRESH) is an EU INTERREG IV collaborative project between French and English researchers and fisheries managers led by the University of Caen, France, to examine recruitment to a shared fishery resource.
As part of this project scientists from the Marine Biological Association and the Plymouth University Marine Institute will directly examine spawning and nursery habitats of the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis, to assess the factors controlling where and when this species spawns in the English Channel and the importance of different nursery habitats. Seagrass beds in particular are considered important nurseries for commercially important species such as the cuttlefish, a statement used frequently within marine conservation management documentation. However, an assessment of this nursery role and the relative value of seagrass beds compared to other habitats has never been examined specifically within the English Channel or, indeed, within Europe.
The project started in April 2009 and MarLIN are currently working on the first stage which is to collate knowledge on where the cuttlefish have been seen, courting, laying eggs and using nursery areas (i.e. where juveniles have been seen). The project will use the information of which habitats are used for spawning to predict and map important areas.
Courting pair of cuttlefish, Photo by Paul Naylor
CRESH is currently collecting sightings of cuttlefish and their eggs through the newly launched 'CuttleWatch' scheme to help us build a picture of which areas are of particular importance for this species. If you would like to report any sightings or records please contact us by email at: CRESH@mba.ac.uk, by phone at 01752 255026 or by text 07806938789.
To find out more about the project visit the CRESH website
To find out more about cuttlefish visit the MarLIN information pages
To find out how to take part in 'CuttleWatch' you can download a poster to display in your organisation
To find out more about the project and how to claim your reward download the poster