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The UK’s whales and dolphins need YOU!

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This year’s Sea Watch National Whale and Dolphin Watch takes place from Saturday 25th July to Sunday 2nd August 2020, and we’re asking members of the public to help.

  • Collecting data about our resident cetaceans has never been more important. Rising sea surface temperatures and anthropogenic activities have been impacting marine species in the British waters for many years now. The most recenthuman lockdowns most certainly has had an effect on marine species which is also worth investigating.
  • Last year’s Watch revealed an impressive 13 separate species of whales and dolphins in British waters, and the highest (over 2,000) ever recorded number of cetacean sightings.
  • The event allows Sea Watch, a charity which has been running for 30 years, to take direct action to protect species. Sea Watch Foundation research studies of bottlenose dolphins helped lead to two areas in Cardigan Bay being recommended as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) for the species. Since 2001, the organisation has monitored the semi-resident bottlenose dolphin population in Cardigan Bay, providing data for the Welsh Government through Natural Resources Wales.

Who can help?

No previous experience is needed; anyone who is in the UK and near the sea during the event and wants to help can. All that people need to take part is safe access to the coast, patience, a lot of enthusiasm, binoculars, a copy of the Sea Watch recording forms and a cetacean identification guide (downloadable from the Sea Watch website). However, in order to ensure everyone follows UK-government Covid-19 restrictions and to comply with social distancing rules, Sea Watch advises people to conduct watches individually or with a member of their household, unless government guidelines instruct otherwise by the time of the event.

What might you see?

The most memorable sightings from last year’s Watch week included humpback whales in Cornwall and the Outer Hebrides, Northern bottlenose whales in the Inner Hebrides, beaked whales off the Isle of Tiree in the Inner Hebrides, fin whales in the Outer Hebrides, and large pods of Atlantic white-sided dolphins off Freester in Shetland”, says Dr Chiara Giulia Bertulli, Sightings Officer and lead organiser of the NWDW event for the Sea Watch Foundation.

Which parts of the UK are key?

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 was collected in the South around Cornwall and South Devon with similar numbers also collected on the North-East coast. In Wales, the highest number of sightings was collected on the West coast. But whales, dolphins and harbour porpoises can pop up anywhere all around the UK, so watching from any coastline is important.

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.

The team at Sea Watch will offer online training and advice on how to take part: www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/nwdw-2020-online-training/

Sponsors have also donated amazing prizes for people who participate in the NWDW watches: www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/national-whale-dolphin-watch-2020-competition/

Visit www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/nwdw/ for details, or contact nwdw@seawatchfoundation.org.uk.

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 Blogs

Take an immersive dive below the waves off the Welsh coast using 360 VR: Common Spider Crab (Watch Video)

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A week-long series from Jake Davies…

Below the waves off the Welsh coast, there are a range of species and habitats that can be seen. However, you don’t have to venture too far from the shore to see them or don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. Using 360 videos provides an immersive feeling of being below the water and encountering many species and habitats from diving one of the most important habitats and species that aren’t often seen whilst diving. For more of an experience of being below the waves, the VR videos can be viewed using a VR headset.

Take a VR dive just off the shore and explore what can be found within the shallow waters of a sandy beach. Fish can be founding cruising amongst the seaweed and numerous crustacean (Crabs, lobster, prawns, shrimps) species can be found walking around the seafloor. Common Spider Crabs (Maja brachydactyla) are one of the largest crabs species found along the coast and during the early summer, they aggregate in large numbers to moult which allows them to grow.


Follow Jake aka JD Scuba on the YouTube channel @Don’t Think Just Blog.

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Dive Training Blogs

Join Me On My Commute To Scuba Diving Key Largo! (Watch Video)

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Sunrise was so beautiful the other morning, I wanted to take a time lapse of my drive from home in South Miami to Key Largo before morning dives with Horizon Divers.

I thought you might enjoy taking the ride with me! Silly I know! But here’s 2 minutes of chill!

D.S.D.O,

James


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

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Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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