Recording Marine Life

How to record marine life

MarLIN holds and makes available records of marine life from professional surveys and volunteer recorders. All records are passed to the National Biodiversity Network for display on the NBN Gateway. MarLIN provides marine life information and facilities for volunteer recorders including online recording. The "Sealife Signpost" and identification guides support these online resources.

Online recording

To make records of marine life:

  1. Log in (why do I have to log in?) to the online recording form. If you are a new recorder, you will need to fill in your contact details. You only need to do this once and your details will be remembered.
  2. Make your record by filling in the fields. Required fields are marked with an asterisk. You can make records for up to ten species for a particular date and location. If you want to record more than ten species, simply submit the full form and start another one.

The recording form can also be downloaded and printed. If you prefer to fill the form in this way, please return it to:

MarLIN
The Laboratory
Citadel Hill
Plymouth
PL1 2PB

Feedback is provided so that you can view your submissions. Records will not appear instantaneously on the MarLIN Website as first they need to be validated and verified.

To complement our online resources, MarLIN produces identification guides and the Sealife Signpost.

Other schemes

MarLIN collaborates with other recording schemes especially "Seasearch" and the Rare Fish recording scheme. The Sealife Signpost directs users to other marine life recording schemes.

The Shore Thing

If you are interested in joining structured intertidal surveys, please look at the Shore Thing Web pages.

Validation and verification

All records received by MarLIN's Sealife Survey recording scheme are checked before being placed online. Recording forms are checked to see that fields are filled in correctly. This is validation. Records are verified by checking the species in question against known occurrences and existing records.

Why do I have to login?

If a record is unusual or suggests that a species has been found outside of its known geographical range, MarLIN will contact the recorder for further evidence before validating the record. This is why we need your contact details. MarLIN will not pass contact details on to anybody else.