2012 Grant award - £500

Seasearch is programme which encourages volunteer scuba divers and snorkellers to contribute to recording and conservation of the marine environment. It operates throughout Britain and Ireland and has amassed a huge 350,000 record database which is used by government  conservation agencies, NGOs, academics and can be accessed by everyone through the National Biodiversity Network website.

Training and resources are critical to obtaining accurate and comprehensive records from volunteers and Seasearch is actively increasing their skills through a series of identification guides. Sea squirts are a poorly understood and difficult to identify group of marine animals, yet are important both as non-native species which can be invasive and also in biomedical research.

Seasearch volunteers are working with scientists in the field to produce a guide to sea squirts and training materials to improve recording. Surveys and a sea squirt workshop are taking place over the summer of 2013 and Sea changers is helping to support the survey activity in Scotland. The new identification guide will be published in 2014. This is a great example of citizen science working together with professionals to improve the information on marine species available to

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