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Marine Biological Association Bioblitz

“I really enjoyed it swimming through all the seaweed and seeing the really big spider crab”

Grant awarded - £500

The Marine Biological Association is a learned Society and a charity dedicated raising awareness of the marine environment through research and communication. The Association’s Fifth Coastal Bioblitz event was held at Looe, East Cornwall on the 23rd and 24th June 2013. The contribution provided by Sea Changers allowed the team to run snorkel surveys throughout the event including snorkel training for anyone interested in having a go.

The team of instructors explained how snorkelling can make the sea and marine life viewing so accessible. Participants were given a Snorkel Safari Guide to teach them what kit they needed to snorkel and where it was safe to do so. 

The bigger aim of Bioblitz as a recording exercise was also explained so that the snorkelers knew their efforts were important to policy makers and scientists.

Outcomes

Over 160 volunteers took part in the Looe Bioblitz event, which exceeded expectations and was a record number compared with previous Bioblitz events. Through activity attendance numbers and visitors to the centre, it was estimated that over 100 additional public participants and 90+ school children attended through the 24 hours. 1142 species were recorded during the 24 hour survey. 

Through offering snorkelling as part of Bioblitz, MBA were able to search more extensively for native and invasive species. Snorkel instructors were briefed with the aim of identifying as many species as possible in the subtidal area. Where possible species that could not be identified were taken back to base camp for ID. In addition photos were taken underwater to support records.

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