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We should not take marine life for granted, says nature and wildlife illustrator Millie Marotta



Marine Conservation SocietyBestselling illustrator Millie Marotta has joined forces with the Marine Conservation Society to launch a national month-long colouring campaign for ‘national parks of the sea’. The nature inspired illustrator from Pembrokeshire whose latest book, Curious Creatures, uncovers the world’s most visually fascinating underwater species, said that we were at risk of taking its diverse marine life for granted.

Millie says: “I live in the UK’s only coastal national park and feel incredibly lucky to have such beautiful beaches and amazing marine wildlife so close by. Here in the UK we have a very rich and diverse array of wildlife both in and around our seas and we must not take that for granted. With so many threats these days to our marine environment and its inhabitants I feel it’s important that we do whatever we can to protect these species and ensure the future health of our seas. The Marine Conservation Society’s campaign to create and manage more Marine Protected Areas in the UK means that more of our seas will have the protection needed for species to recover and thrive. This is a hugely important campaign and one that I wholeheartedly support.”

In addition to signing the Marine Conservation Society’s petition, Millie is urging the public to colour and share her illustration of the hermit crab, a favourite of rock-pool enthusiasts, and commonly found in the shores and depths of the British coast, with the hashtag #helpthehermit.

Rachel Alcock, Senior Campaigner, Marine Conservation Society, said: “Many of us are often surprised by the incredible animals and plants found in the seas around the UK. Our seas are rich with unique species, shimmering shoals and reefs teeming with life. It is wonderful that Millie has signed our petition and we ask that everyone who enjoys colouring in her beautiful illustrations signs too. We are calling on decision makers across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to protect these treasures by designating and properly managing Marine Protected Areas”.

How to be part of ‘colouring for conservation’

Sign – Support the Marine Conservation Society’s petition for Marine Protected Areas:

Colour – Download and colour Millie Marotta’s exclusive hermit crab illustration from @milliemarotta on Facebook

Share – Post on social media using #helpthehermit. Tag the Marine Conservation Society on Twitter @mcsuk, or on Instragram at @MCS_UK, or send to Millie on her Facebook page @milliemarotta for the chance to have your colouring shared with her 20,000+ fans!

Colouring for conservation: Millie will be using Facebook to share important facts about the campaign for Marine Protected Areas.

Which areas of sea should be protected? Why? What lives there?

The Mid St George’s Channel covers an area of 761km2, and the zone lies between Wales and the Republic of Ireland. The sand and gravel that is found here supports populations of annelid worms, clams and crustaceans.  Breeding seabirds, whales and dolphins are often seen feeding in the waters above. Pressure needs to be kept up to ensure that this area is designated as a protected site.

The colourfully named Mud Hole is an offshore site measuring 72 km². It is around 35m deep, and is located 21km off the coast of Cumbria. Within this area there are a variety of features including Sea-pens and the rare to this area Burrowing Megafauna. If designated this site could allow for recovery of this highly sensitive area. Defra have the opportunity to safeguard this area by designating it as a Marine Protected Area. It is vital that they do just that next year.

Located on the East Sussex coastline, the proposed Marine Conservation Zone Beachy Head East contains a very important chalk reef.  This area supports a range of animals including Ross coral. The Mussel beds found here are considered to be one of the best examples of this habitat in the region. Blue mussel beds are known to be important for water quality, act as a food source for sea birds, and even help with to coastal protection. It is vital that Defra properly protect Beachy Head East by making it a Marine Protected Area next year.

The Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt Marine Protected Area is located to the west of the Shetland Islands on the Scottish side of the Faroe-Shetland Channel. It was designated as a Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area in 2014 which is fantastic. However, it is now vital that management measures are put in place to ensure that this special area is well looked after.

crabHelp hermit and his habitat: bring Millie’s hermit crab to life by downloading and colouring him in.

  • Download him from the Pavillion website from September 14th
  • Post on social media using #helpthehermit. Tag the Marine Conservation Society on Twitter @mcsuk, or on Instragram at @MCS_UK, or send to Millie on her Facebook page @milliemarotta for the chance to have your colouring shared with her 20,000+ fans!

Visit  to find out how to sign the petition.


And the 5 winners of our free tickets to this weekend’s Scuba.Digital Show competition are…



We’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who entered our competition to win a free ticket to this weekend’s Scuba.Digital online dive show!

As usual, lots of you entered… but there can, of course, be only five winners!!

And those winners are…

  • Beth Carr from the USA
  • Steven Turnbull from the UK
  • Wendy Van Oosterwijck from Belgium
  • Eric Lim from Malaysia, and
  • David Polanik from the USA.

Congratulations to you all – your tickets will be on their way to you soon!

Not a winner this time? Don’t worry – there are plenty of other competitions running on right now. To see what other awesome prizes you could be in with a chance of winning, click here!

And if you didn’t win, be sure to get yourself a ticket and check out Scuba.Digital from tomorrow, 23rd October until Sunday 26th October 2020. See you there!

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Gear News

Gear Maintenance: Episode 1 Masks – Sponsored by Dive Rite (Watch Video)



Everything you need to know to make your scuba diving mask last a lifetime! Welcome to Gear Maintenance!

If you want to support Divers Ready! (for free!) support our sponsor for this series of videos: Dive Rite

To enter to win the ES155 Mask from Dive Rite, you need to:

  1. Subscribe to Divers Ready! if you haven’t already:
  2. Enter the contest here:

A scuba diving mask is a seemingly simple piece of kit, but there are things that can wrong with it. Proper care, cleaning and preventative maintenance will help you keep your scuba mask in the best condition for years and years. We’ve packed this video full of hints and tips covering storage, protection, cleaning, defogging and maintenance to help you protect the investment you’ve made in your dive equipment.

Oh, and here’s the soft case I recommend. (Yes, this is an affiliate link. Purchases made through this link m ay earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you.)

Mask case:

Good luck to everyone!



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