2017 - Grant Award - £500

Helen and Rachel, Sea-Changers Co-Founders present cheque to Sue Sayers

Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT) is an evidence based conservation charity (founded in 2004) supporting a large network of active citizen scientists across the southwest UK routinely surveying seals on their local patch. This enables CSGRT to learn more about grey seals, a globally rare marine mammal that the UK has a special legal responsibility to protect. Over the past 17 years we’ve encouraged everyone to send in their seal sightings with a date and location enabling CSGRT to build grey seal photo ID catalogues of each individual’s unique fur pattern effectively tracking them for life. Boat surveys gather important data from numerous offshore islands within the MCZs. Understanding how seals move through MCZs across the Celtic Sea is key to informing conservation and management. Our project monitors three designated MCZs within 115km of north Cornish coast recording all marine megafauna and the quality and condition of habitat. Our Sea-Changers grant will fund one of our 12 vital annual boat surveys.The information gathered is analysed and summarised in a formal report for each survey and made available free to groups and agencies that need the data and to help our government formulate and manage maritime protection.


2016 - Grant Award - £500

Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT) are passionate about protecting Cornwall’s precious marine life. To this end long term monitoring of all marine mega fauna, human activity levels and lost fishing gear are surveyed along a 100km+ stretch of Cornwall’s Atlantic coast year round.

Surveys provide vital systematic evidence of the status, health and changes of three Marine Protected Areas and connecting coast in between. Sea-Changers are kindly funding one of CSGRT’s 12 annual boat surveys along the middle section of coast. Volunteer experts in seals, cetaceans and birds are accompanied by up to nine volunteer spotters from Newquay Marine Group and Cornwall College. The survey will take place three hours either side of low tide early in 2017. CSGRT will process the thousands of photos taken and conduct photo identification of individual grey seals, bottlenose dolphins and ringed sea birds encountered.

A full report on the survey findings will be compiled, which will become a building block in our evidence base to inform submissions to relevant public policy and planning consultations. Additional outcomes include increased local awareness and advocacy for our marine environment and a long lasting legacy of our conservation efforts on our watch on our patch!

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