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Citizen Science casts light on UK Cetaceans



National Whale and Dolphin Watch: the great success of a citizen science project casting light on the status and distribution of cetaceans in British waters

The Sea Watch Foundation’s 2019 National Whale and Dolphin Watch event (July 27th – August 4th) revealed striking biodiversity with an impressive thirteen species of cetaceans seen around the British Isles, a number which has only been recorded twice before in the history of the event. The total number of sightings (over 2,000) collected exceeded last year’s by 500 and was the highest reported so far.

For the past 20 years, Sea Watch Foundation has monitored the dolphins, porpoises and whales around the UK, documenting abundance trends, identifying conservation threats, and advising on the best ways to protect the populations both within and outside the Special Areas of Conservation. For the past 17 years this has been spearheaded through an annual national recording event, the National Whale and Dolphin Watch (NWDW), which marks the long-lasting collaboration between citizen scientists, wildlife enthusiasts, the general public, and researchers alike.

Scotland recorded the highest number of sightings particularly along the western coast and on the Inner and Outer Hebrides. In England, the greatest number of sightings were collected in the South around Cornwall and South Devon with similar numbers also collected in Yorkshire and the North-East. In Wales, the highest number of sightings was collected on the West coast.

The most memorable sightings from this past year’s Watch week include fin whales off Tiumpan Head in the Outer Hebrides, feeding groups of short-beaked common dolphins off Berry Head in Devon, humpback whales sighted off  Penzance in Cornwall and off Barra, in the Outer Hebrides, as well as long-finned pilot whales and large pods of Atlantic white-sided dolphins sighted around Shetland”, says Dr Chiara Giulia Bertulli, Sightings Officer and lead organiser of last year’s national event for the Sea Watch Foundation.

Another great success of last year is the larger number of effort sightings (associated by detailed information on several environmental parameters) being collected, which accounts this year for 70% of all sighting records reported during the event.

Taking sighting records and adding environmental data together helps us to better understand the ways in which cetacean populations are affected by changes to the environment. Not only does the collection of sightings and geographical positions increase our general knowledge of the cetacean fauna that inhabits the seas around the British Isles, it can inform us of important areas and times of year for particular species, enabling better decision making on the risk of harm to local populations from human activities”, continues Chiara.

This year’s NWDW marks also the great collaborations with thirty-four different conservation and recording organisations, including ORCA, Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, MARINELife, and Whale and Dolphin Conservation, who have contributed data collected from boats (inshore and offshore) and from land stations in different parts of the UK.

Sea Watch Foundation are seeking volunteers to take part in the National Whale and Dolphin Watch 2020 this summer, which takes place 25th July – 2nd August. No experience is necessary as the team at Sea Watch will offer you training and advice on how to take part.

Click here or email for details.

To download a copy of the 2019 NWDW report click here


WIN a Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive Torch!!!



For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Liquid Sports to give away a Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive Torch!

This torch delivers 1200 lumens of light powered by an ion rechargeable battery. There are 4 levels of brightness with burn times between 2-20 hours. Battery charge level is indicated via coloured lights around the on/off button. The beam angle is 10°. The anodised aluminium alloy housing sealed by double ‘O’ rings with a max operating depth of 100m. SRP £125.00 which includes torch, charging cradle and battery.

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on (which you can read here), we reported via the Marine Conservation Society that the UK’s landmark post-Brexit fisheries legislation has now become law. The Fisheries Act is the first legislation of its kind in nearly how many years?

Is it:

  • A) 60
  • B) 50
  • C) 40

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

Liquid Sports Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive Torch November 2020

  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of Liquid Sports and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to When prizes are supplied by third parties, is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. This competition closes on 06/01/21. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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Gear News

Northern Diver Christmas Sale starts TODAY!



This year Northern Diver’s Christmas offers are starting on Black Friday and running until midnight on New Year’s Eve! 

There are some great deals to be had across the site – – from discounted Drysuits and Coltri compressors to 15% off their entire Lighting Section!

And if you can’t find the perfect present for the diver in your life, they have a choice of Gift Cards on offer. They are even giving you £25 extra when you purchase a £100 voucher!

The offers don’t stop there – there is FREE shipping on all orders over £100 and even a FREE gift with every online purchase.

Every purchase will get you entered into a great prize draw to win one of their new Electracore 3.0mm Rechargeable Heated Vests!

And should you find that you need to return any of your purchases, Northern Diver understand that Christmas may be a little different for everyone this year and you may not get to see every one over Christmas, so they have extended their Returns Period to the end of January 2021. (Valid for purchases made from Black Friday to end of December 2020).

Some unmissable offers to look out for are the Varilux Zoom, part of the Varilux Black & Gold Range, with its variable beam width; and Northern Diver’s 4mm compressed Neoprene Drysuit, the Voyager, which is on offer for an incredible £475!

For more information visit the Northern Diver website by clicking here.

Photo credit: Joe Duffy

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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