2015 - Grant Awarded - 500.00  

Seasearch divers from Weymouth & Portland BSAC will be revisiting the reef at Worbarrow Bay in South Dorset to follow-up the 2003-2005 Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) survey of pink sea fans (Eunicella verrucosa). This beautiful species is a long-lived, slow-growing gorgonian coral which is protected under Section 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and is also a designated Biodiversity Action Plan

(BAP) species and Species of Conservation Interest for Marine Conservation Zone designation. The pink sea fan is at the easternmost extent of its UK range in Dorset so changing sea conditions could have implications for its continued survival. Long-term data loggers will be deployed on the reef to see if any trends in sea temperature can be identified and individual sea fans will be identified (as in the original study) and photographed to ascertain their growth and condition. We will use the resulting data and images of the rich underwater environment of the Studland to Portland Marine Protected Area, within which the reef is located, to promote marine conservation, engage with the general public (via the DWT marine centres) and encourage divers to get involved in volunteer projects such as Seasearch."

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