Recording Marine Life

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Welcome to the Sealife Signpost.

Sealife Signpost provides guidance on schemes that you can join and on where to send your sightings of marine species. Sightings can also be reported on our message service. All UK sightings are valuable and, once validated, will contribute to the UK National Biodiversity Network.

Send your address to MarLIN, marlin@mba.ac.uk, for a free Sealife Signpost card.

Click on the links below for information about individual recording schemes.

Basking Shark Sightings

Website: http://www.baskingsharks.org/upload_photo1.asp?rootid=6215&toptab=4

Email:

Basking Shark sightings with no images.

Tel: Fax:

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Basking Shark Watch

Basking Shark Watch

Website: http://www.mcsuk.org/sightings/baskingshark.php

Email: info@mcsuk.org

Basking shark watch is a volunteer reporting project to gather information on sightings of basking sharks in UK waters. The project is run by the Marine Conservation Society and was launched in 1987 since then information on more than 17,000 basking sharks has been compiled. Members of the public and other organisations can report details of sightings including location, numbers, size, markings and behaviour on printed report cards, via Internet or phone. The data gathered has helped to increase our knowledge of the distribution and behaviour of these magnificent creatures. Sightings of basking sharks are most common between April and October along the west coast of Britain and around Ireland. The data gathered by MCS was instrumental in gaining protection of the basking shark in the UK in1998 under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. A factsheet / poster and report cards are available from the Marine Conservation Society. Guidelines for watching basking sharks are available from the Marine Conservation Society. Learn more about watching basking sharks safely by becoming accredited throught the Wildlife Safety (WISE) scheme.

Marine Conservation Society, Unit 3, Wolf Business Park, Alton Road, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, HR9 5NB

Tel: 01989 566017 Fax: 01989 567815

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British Seahorse Survey

British Seahorse Survey

Website: http://www.britishseahorsesurvey.org/form.htm

Email:

The British Seahorse Survey is run by The Seahorse Trust and was set up in 1994. It has been set up to look for and plot the populations of the two indigenous Seahorses around the British Isles and Ireland . This information is then used to form the basis of legal protection and conservation strategies for these highly vulnerable and environmentally sensitive animals.

The British Seahorse Survey, c/o The Seahorse Trust, 36 Greatwood Terrace, Topsham, Devon, EX3 0EB

Tel: 01392 875930 Fax:

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Conchological Society Marine Recording Scheme

Conchological Society Marine Recording Scheme

Website: http://www.conchsoc.org/recording/marine-rec.php

Email: marine@conchsoc.org

The Conchological Society of Gt. Britain & Ireland exists to promote the study of Mollusca in its widest aspects and has been at the forefront of biological recording for 120 years. Marine records span some 50 years, and a computerised database holds much of the more recent archive. Information comes from members of the Society via individual enterprise and a programme of field meetings. Professional malacologists, University departments (through undergraduate and postgraduate work and independent contracts) and general biologists, ecologists, divers and naturalists with a particular interest in molluscs, can all play a valuable part in providing records from their field work. These sources combined with input from the Agencies and commercial organisations could provide a comprehensive archive of distributional information upon which, for example, future conservation strategies may be based.

Conchological Society, 88 Peperharow Road, Godalming, GU7 2PN

Tel: 01483 417782 Fax:

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Durlston Marine Project

Durlston Marine Project

Website: http://www.durlston.co.uk/index.php?id=94

Email: dolphins@durlston.co.uk

The Durlston Marine Project is a community based research and education programme based around the Purbeck VMCA. With research into their semi-resident pod of Bottlenose dolphins they accept dolphin sightings from members of the public within the region.

Durlston Marine Project, Durlston Country Park, Lighthouse Road, Swanage, Dorset, BH19 2JL

Tel: 01929 424443 Fax:

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European Basking Shark Photo-identification Project (EBSPiP)

European Basking Shark Photo-identification Project (EBSPiP)

Website: http://www.baskingsharks.org/content.asp?did=26584&rootid=6214&toptab=3

Email: baskingsharks@national-aquarium.co.uk

The EBSPiP is a joint venture set up in 2000 with the aim of producing a database of images used to identify and track the movements of individual basking sharks around Europe. The project relies on the natural marks, scars and other distinctive features found on basking shark dorsal fins to distinguish between individuals. Images submitted by basking shark-watchers around Europe are entered into the database and cross-referenced against the existing images for possible matches. The EBSPiP relies on the submission of images from a variety of sources including the general public. Guidelines for watching basking sharks are available from the Marine Conservation Society. Learn more about watching basking sharks safely by becoming accredited through the Wildlife Safety (WISE) scheme.

Basking Shark, The Shark Trust, 4 Creykes Court, 5 Craigie Drive, The Millfields, Plymouth, PL1 3JB

Tel: 0870 128 3045 or +44 (0)1752 672008 (Outside the UK) Fax:

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HWDT Community Sightings Programme

HWDT Community Sightings Programme

Website: http://www.whaledolphintrust.co.uk/sightings-report-a-sighting.asp

Email:

The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust are a charitable organisation concerned with locally based conservation. They run a Community Sightings Programme to encourage members of the public to become more aware of the wildlife in the Hebridean water by reporting sightings of cetaceans or other interesting marine species (i.e. basking sharks) they've seen. This information is used to research the distribution of species and identify any key habitats within the Hebrides. They are also participating in a nationwide research project on Bottlenose dolphins in collaboration with Aberdeen University, asking members of the public to report any sightings.

Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, 28 Main Street, Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Scotland, PA75 6NU

Tel: 01688 302620 Fax: 01688 302728

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Irish Sea Jellyfish Sightings Scheme

Irish Sea Jellyfish Sightings Scheme

Website: http://www.jellyfish.ie/jellyfish_sight.asp

Email:

Established in 2003 the Irish Sea Leatherback Project is a joint venture between the University of Wales, Swansea and University College Cork. It is funded by the European Regional Development Fund's (ERDF) INTERREG IIIA initiative. The Jellyfish Sightings Schemes is for anyone, whether they be walking on a beach, diving or out in a boat to record any species they see in the Irish Sea.

Irish Sea Leatherback Turtle Project, Department of ZEPS, University College Cork, Lee Maltings, Prospect Row, Cork, Ireland.

Tel: +353 (0)21 4904283 Fax:

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Jellyfish Survey

Jellyfish Survey

Website: http://www.mcsuk.org/sightings/jellyfish.php

Email: info@mcsuk.org

Little is known about jellyfish in UK waters, but they are a staple diet of the critically endangered leatherback turtle. By comparing the distribution of jellyfish with environmental factors such as sea temperature, plankton production and current flow, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) hope to understand the seasonal distribution of jellyfish and leatherbacks in UK waters. Sightings should be sent to MCS. An identification guide/recording form is available from MCS. Health and Safety Some jellyfish sting NEVER touch jellyfish with bare hands ALWAYS use a stick or wear arm length rubber gloves if you need to turn them over for identification BEWARE of stinging tentacles and keep face and any exposed skin clear Seek MEDICAL attention in case of a severe sting

Marine Conservation Society, Unit 3, Wolf Business Park, Alton Road, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, HR9 5NB

Tel: 01989 566017 Fax: 01989 567815

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Marine Mammal Sighting Survey

Marine Mammal Sighting Survey

Website: http://www.hwt.org.uk/pages/hampshire-and-isle-of-wight-marine-sightings-676.html

Email:

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust has joined forces with the South Coast Seal Project and Dorset Marine Mammal Research Programme to gather information on marine. Despite protection by British and European law marine mammals still face serious threats from commercial fishing, climate change, habitat loss and pollution, therefore this programme aims to gain a better understanding of how marine mammals use our waters and the threats they face. The sightings collected as part of this scheme are entered onto the databases of the South Coast Seal Project and Dorset Marine Mammal Research Programme.

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Beechcroft House, Vicarage Lane, Curdridge, Hampshire, SO32 2DP

Tel: 01489 774 400 Fax: 01489 774 401

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PMNHS Recording Scheme

PMNHS Recording Scheme

Website: http://www.pmnhs.co.uk/recording.php

Email:

The Porcupine Marine Natural History Society is a UK based society with particular interests in marine biogeography and species ecology. The Society co-ordinates a marine species recording scheme for its members and any other interested parties. The scheme was established because the current distribution of many marine species in UK waters is not well known, particularly those species which are uncommon in the UK; and because many valuable records are collected informally and are not normally collated nationally. The primary aim of the scheme is therefore to collect and collate interesting species distribution records that might otherwise be lost or forgotten. The scheme has already collected records of species in areas from which they had not previously been recorded. Records sent to the scheme are held in a computer database and are made available to anyone with interests in those species. Regular articles on recent records are published in the Societys newsletter.

Tel: Fax:

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Sea Watch

Sea Watch

Website: http://www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/sightings.php?uid=29

Email: sightings@seawatchfoundation.org.uk

Sea Watch Foundation aims to achieve better conservation of whales and dolphins in the seas around Britain and Ireland, by involving the public in scientific monitoring of populations and the threats they face, and by the regular production of material to educate, inform and lobby for better environmental protection. Sea Watch holds the Joint Cetacean Database sighting records from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Sea Mammal Research Unit and Sea Watch Foundation - on computer, making it probably the largest in the world. The database currently receives 2-3000 sighting records per year. Each record has to be checked for accuracy then transcribed onto the computer database, along with environmental data. Sea Watch has a number of major projects in coastal areas particularly rich in marine animals or holding important populations of certain species.

Sea Watch Foundation, 11 Jersey Road, Oxford, OX4 4RT

Tel: 01865 717276 Fax: 01865 717276

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Seaquest

Seaquest

Website: http://www.cwtstrandings.org/index.html

Email:

Seaquest South-West is a marine recording and public participation project run jointly by the Cornwall and Devon Wildlife Trusts. Through Seaquest the Wildlife Trusts effectively harness the knowledge of expert conservationists to the enthusiastic efforts of casual or committed sea watchers people like you. The Seaquest network is made up of ordinary people doing ordinary things walking on the beach, fishing, sailing, surfing etc. The records are examined by our own experts and shared with other organisations to help conserve our marine life for the future. Seaquest record whale, dolphin and porpoise strandings. For Live strandings please contact: British Divers Marine Life Rescue (01825) 765546 For strandings of dead animals please contact: Cornwall: Call the Hotline on 0845 201 2626 Devon: Devon Wildlife Trust (01392 279244) or Lindy Hingley 07712 587799

Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Five Acres, Allet, Truro, Cornwall, TR4 9DJ

Tel: 01872 273939 Fax:

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Seasearch

Seasearch

Website: http://www.seasearch.org.uk/recording.htm

Email: info@mcsuk.org

Seasearch is a volunteer underwater survey project for recreational divers to record observations of marine habitats and the life they support. The information gathered is used to increase our knowledge of the marine environment and contribute towards its conservation. Seasearch is co-ordinated nationally by a Steering Group led by the Marine Conservation Society and including representatives from statutory conservation bodies (Countryside Council for Wales, English Nature and Scottish Natural Heritage), the Environment Agency, the Wildlife Trusts, the Marine Biological Association (MarLIN), diver training organisations (PADI, SAA and SSAC), Nautical Archaeology Society and independent marine life experts. Divers can participate in Seasearch training days with an introduction to marine habitat and species identification and survey methods. Seasearch survey expeditions are organised during the summer. Visit http://www.seasearch.org.uk for more information.

Marine Conservation Society, Unit 3, Wolf Business Park, Alton Road, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, HR9 5NB

Tel: 01989 566017 Fax: 01989 567815

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Shore Watch

Shore Watch

Website: http://www.glaucus.org.uk/watch2.htm

Email: glaucus@hotmail.com

The British Marine Life Study Society is responsible for producing the journal GLAUCUS, which is the first publication exploring the marine life of the seas surrounding the British Isles available to the general public. The object of Shore Watch is to record wildlife on the seashore around the British Isles. The results will be published in the marine wildlife journal Glaucus and in a computer database accessible by contributors and the public. The aims of the project are to: 1) stimulate interest in the seashore as a valuable wildlife habitat; 2) educate the public in the sciences and art of the intertidal zone; 3) give naturalists the opportunity to contribute their knowledge and observations; 4) identify and record any marine wildlife trends; 5) give a common-sense supplement to proper scientific surveys, and 6) publish the merits of British seashore life to the uninitiated and foreign students.

British Marine Life Study Society, Glaucus House, 14 Corbyn Crescent, Shoreham by Sea, BN43 6PQ

Tel: 01273 465433 Fax:

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Silver Dolphin Centre Sightings Programme

Silver Dolphin Centre Sightings Programme

Website: http://www.silverdolphinmarineconservationanddiving.co.uk/5180.html

Email: conservation@silverdolphin.freeserve.co.uk

The Silver Dolphin Centre run a sightings programme, welcoming photos of cetaceans from around the Cornish Coast. The data they collect is made available for any institution, college or student who requests it for their research. For more information visit the website at www.silverdolphinmarineconservationanddiving.co.uk/5180.html

The Silver Dolphin Centre, Trinity House, Wharf Road, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4BN

Tel: 01736 364860 Fax:

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Thames Marine Mammal Survey

Thames Marine Mammal Survey

Website: http://www.zsl.org/conservation/regions/uk-europe/thames-estuary/thames-marine-mammal-survey-form,26

Email:

The Thames Marine Mammal Survey aims to address the information gap in sightings within the Thames Estuary. Data collected will help to develop patterns and trends in species distribution, behaviour and habitat use. Findings will also be fed into national databases. The ZSL asks anyone who spots dolphins, porpoises and seals within the tidal Thames area (between Teddington upriver to Shoeburyness and Sheerness in the outer estuary) to report their sightings.

Marine & Freshwater Conservation Programmes, ZSL, Regents Park, London, NW1 4RY

Tel: 020 7449 6249 Fax: 020 7483 4436

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The Great Eggcase Hunt

The Great Eggcase Hunt

Website: http://www.eggcase.org/recordfinds1.asp?rootid=6238&toptab=3

Email:

The Shark Trust is urging people of all ages to take past in the first ever skate and ray eggcase hunt. Empty eggcases (mermaids purses) wash up on beaches all around the country, and anyone can get involved in helping scientists to learn more about these vulnerable species. A simple walk can turn into a conservation expedition. In recent decades several species of skate and ray around the British coast have dramatically declined in numbers. The empty eggcases that wash up on to our beaches all year round are an easily accessible source of information on the whereabouts of skate and ray nursery grounds. The identification of these critical areas will enable the Shark Trust to propose conservation measures, in order to reverse the decline of these charismatic animals.

The Great Eggcase Hunt, The Shark Trust, 4 Creykes Court, 5 Craigie Drive, The Millfields, Plymouth, PL1 3JB

Tel: 0870 128 3045 or +44 (0)1752 672008 (Outside the UK) Fax:

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Turtle Watch

Turtle Watch

Website: http://www.mcsuk.org/sightings/turtles.php

Email: info@mcsuk.org

Five species of turtle occur in UK waters including the largest and most common to our waters, the leatherback. The Marine Conservation Society, supported by Cheltenham and Gloucester plc and in collaboration with other organisations is working to promote the protection of turtles in the UK and abroad. The UK Turtle Watch scheme aims to encourage fishermen, divers and other sea users to report their sightings of turtles and increase our understanding of the distribution and threats to turtles in UK waters. Turtles are sometimes found entangled in fishing gear and marine litter which can result in death, but prompt and expert action can result in the safe release of entangled turtles. A UK Turtle Code and Advisory Note has been produced which provides details on species identification and action to be taken in response to a sighting or entanglement. This together with UK Turtle Watch cards to report live and dead sightings are available from the Marine Conservation Society. More information is available from www.mcsuk.org. Entangled or stranded turtles should be reported immediately to the following contacts: England & Wales: Marine Environmental Monitoring - 01348 875000; RSPCA (live strandings) 08705 555999 Scotland: SSPCA 0131 3390111 Northern Ireland: 07770 570350 Republic of Ireland: 00353 (0)21 4904140 or 00353 (0)21 4897392

Marine Conservation Society, Unit 3, Wolf Business Park, Alton Road, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, HR9 5NB

Tel: 01989 566017 Fax: 01989 567815

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United Kingdom Marine Fish Recording Scheme

United Kingdom Marine Fish Recording Scheme

Website: http://www.national-aquarium.co.uk/marine-fish/?m=science

Email: fishreports@national-aquarium.co.uk

The UK Marine Fish Recording Scheme is a project to collect and make available information on the distribution and occurrence of marine and estuarine fish around the British Isles. These reports are being put into a database, which will become generally accessible through the Internet. A few reports will need to remain confidential for conservation or other reasons. This scheme, which is managed by the National Marine Aquarium and backed by the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom and the National Federation of Sea Anglers, will help scientists assess the present status of British marine fish and detect changes that may occur through human impacts or climatic factors. Historical records will be especially useful. Every diver, angler, fisherman and even walker on the cliff top or beach can help by reporting any unusual fish they see to this scheme. Have you seen a red sea bream or angel shark? Or are these species disappearing? Are Sunfish going to be as common this year as last? After the European barracuda what is going to be the next new species for the British Isles? The UK Marine Fish Recording Scheme is a project to collect and make available information on the distribution and occurrence of marine and estuarine fish around the British Isles. These reports are being put into a database, which will become generally accessible through the Internet. A few reports will need to remain confidential for conservation or other reasons. This scheme, which is managed by the National Marine Aquarium and backed by the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom and the National Federation of Sea Anglers, will help scientists assess the present status of British marine fish and detect changes that may occur through human impacts or climatic factors. Historical records will be especially useful. Every diver, angler, fisherman and even walker on the cliff top or beach can help by reporting any unusual fish they see to this scheme. Have you seen a red sea bream or angel shark? Or are these species disappearing? Are Sunfish going to be as common this year as last? After the European barracuda what is going to be the next new species for the British Isles?

National Marine Aquarium, Rope Walk, Coxside, Plymouth, PL4 0LF

Tel: 01752 275216/600301 Fax: 01752 275217

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WDCS Sighting Scheme

WDCS Sighting Scheme

Website: http://www.wdcs.org/national_regions/united_kingdom/story_details.php?select=700

Email: sightings@wdcs.org

WDCS runs a European cetacean sightings scheme, sightings are collated on a database that are used to further our understanding of these wonderful animals. Building an accurate quantitative archive of cetacean movements within European waters will help WDCS to monitor European cetaceans and may help spot any changes that occur in their distribution. In the longer term, information about cetacean presence may be related to human and environmental conditions where these are recorded.

WDCS, Brookfield House, 38 St Paul Street, Chippenham, SN15 1LJ WDCS, Brookfield House, 38 St Paul Street, Chippenham, SN15 1LJ

Tel: 01249 449 500 Fax:

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