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Marine Life & Conservation

Marine Conservation Society unveils new strategy, brand and website

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The Marine Conservation Society has unveiled a refreshed strategy – an action plan for healthy seas – highlighting the charity’s work towards a better protected, cleaner and healthier ocean, for everyone.

The strategy pulls together the charity’s yearlong project exploring its values, tone of voice and visual representation, resulting in a new brand, website and refocused mission.

Sandy Luk, CEO of the Marine Conservation Society: We’re facing an ocean emergency; the ocean is in poor health because of human activity. We’re polluting our waters and destroying precious habitats, not only harming the species that live in our seas, but reducing the ocean’s ability to help us fight the climate crisis. We must act now to turn the tide and restore its health, and to do this we must inspire social, political and cultural change – the way we represent ourselves is crucial to this.”

To reflect the urgent action needed to tackle the ocean emergency, the Marine Conservation Society has realigned, focusing on a central mission: to breathe life back into the ocean.

Amanda Nobbs, Chair of Trustees at the Marine Conservation Society: We need healthy seas to tackle climate change. Our new action plan, website and brand focus on the urgent action we can all take to turn things around.  The choices we make every day – the food we eat, the clothes we wear – have an impact on our ocean.”

As a result of significant funding, the Marine Conservation Society has worked with Bristol-based digital agency, Torchbox, to design and build a new website. The charity’s new website is an extension of its strategy, putting people-powered action at the heart of the Marine Conservation Society’s digital offering.

Maya Gibbs, Product Director, Torchbox: We’re proud of our role in developing a website that can help any of us play a part in the fight for our ocean. From helping you to organise and run beach cleans, to teaching you about the most and least sustainable fish in the Good Fish Guide, there’s something for everyone.”

In tandem with the development of a new website, the charity enlisted the help of world-renowned advertising agency, BBH, to consider how the Marine Conservation Society should look to reflect the charity’s mission. BBH volunteered their time to create the initial ideas and concepts through their brand agency, Zag.

Natalie Doto, Designer of the charity’s new brand said: “People often think about the land and the ocean as separate entities, when in reality how we choose to live on land has a direct effect on the ocean and vice versa. When creating the new brand, we were inspired by this symbiotic relationship between these two worlds that is essential to sustaining life on earth.

“We created a logo that was all about balance; equally weighted between two sides, with letterforms full of ocean-y character to capture the spirit of the ocean and all the life that lives in it. It was important for us to create a brand with universal appeal, able to both reinvigorate current supporters as well as attracting the next generation of ocean activists.”

The charity’s logo has also been brought to life with a series of animations featuring marine creatures including shoals of fish, a crab and jellyfish. See them all in action across the charity’s digital channels.

Read the Marine Conservation Society’s action plan for healthy seas and visit the charity’s new look website.

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

Marine Life & Conservation

Big Seaweed Search Returns!

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From 23rd – 31st July 2022, the Marine Conservation Society and the Natural History Museum will be asking people across the UK to head to the coast and spot seaweed as part of community science project, Big Seaweed Search Week.

Seaweed is one of the world’s great unsung heroes, playing a crucial role in marine ecosystems and helping to mitigate the effects of climate change. The UK, with over 650 species of seaweed, is home to a diverse range of species.

The Big Seaweed Search Week asks beachgoers to search for, and record, 14 of the most common seaweed species. This vital information helps the Marine Conservation Society and the Natural History Museum to map the distribution of specific species and collect long-term data that enables them to determine, as a result of seaweeds found, the impact of environmental changes in the ocean.

Amy Pilsbury, Citizen Science Lead at the Marine Conservation Society, said:“It’s easy for anyone to get involved in Big Seaweed Search Week – you don’t need to be a seaweed expert or live near the sea, just one visit to the coast will do. Studying seaweeds can tell us a lot about wider ocean and environmental conditions and the information supports real scientific research.

“Seaweed is a real ocean superstar, helping to buffer the effects of climate change, absorbing and storing carbon and protecting our coasts from waves and storm damage. The more data we gather with our Big Seaweed Searchers, the more knowledge and influence we have to protect our ocean, and seaweeds, for the future.”

As well as providing vital habitats for other species, seaweeds play a major part in marine food chains and are a rich source of nutrients for animals such as crabs and sea urchins.

Seaweed plays a critical role in combating the climate crisis. These fast-growing algae produce oxygen – more than land plants – with phytoplankton (like seaweed) providing at least half of the oxygen we breathe.  Seaweed absorbs carbon more effectively than trees, storing an estimated 175 million tonnes each year – equal to 10% of the world’s car emissions.

However, populations of kelp – large brown seaweeds that are a vital ‘blue carbon’ store – are reported to be declining around the world, limiting ocean ecosystems’ abilities to absorb carbon and combat the climate crisis.

The Big Seaweed Search gathers information on species, such as kelp, which have the potential to be affected by rising sea temperatures, the arrival of non-native species and ocean acidification – environmental changes affecting the ocean and the health of marine ecosystems.

A young lumpsucker: Alex Mustard

Data gathered by volunteers helps build a picture of what our shores are like, how they’re changing and informs scientists and decision-makers how best to protect them.

Juliet Brodie, Merit Researcher at the National History Museum, said:“It’s inspiring to see how the Big Seaweed Search is developing.  We’re using the data submitted for our scientific research to build distribution maps which means we can track seaweed species as they respond to environmental changes over time. We’ve also been able to use over 1,000 submitted records in our work on a Red Data List of British seaweeds – which evaluates indigenous species and how endangered they are.”

It’s easy to get involved in Big Seaweed Search Week, and anyone can take part. Training videos and downloadable resources are available, including a guide which helps beachgoers to identify the seaweed species they’re likely to spot and explains what they need to do.

The survey can be carried out as an individual or in groups, and be completed on a mobile, tablet or computer.

To get involved simply:

  1. Register to take part and download your guide and recording form at bigseaweedsearch.org
  2. Choose your 5 metres[AB1]  of coastline to survey
  3. Fill in your survey form
  4. Take LOTS of clear, close-up photographs for your survey to be accepted
  5. Submit your survey through bigseaweedsearch.org

You can visit the Marine Conservation Society for all the information you’ll need to get started.

Header Image: Paul Naylor

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Marine Life & Conservation

The BiG Scuba Podcast… with Andy Forster of Dive Project Cornwall

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Gemma and Ian chat to Andy Forster.  Andy is the Project Director at Dive Project Cornwall.  He tells us about his own passion for diving as well as how Dive Project Cornwall is going to educate and inspire many youngsters over the coming year.

Have a listen here:

Find out more at www.diveprojectcornwall.co.uk


Find more podcast episodes and information at the new www.thebigscuba.com  website and on most social platforms @thebigscuba 

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A luxurious dive resort in the heart of Lembeh Strait. Enjoy refined services while exploring the rich waters of Indonesia.

The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

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