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Saturday, 21 September 2019
Seasearch dive into conservation Print

Seasearch is a project for recreational divers who want to do their bit for the marine environment by collecting information about marine habitats and plants and animals only divers see. 

I recently took part in a Seasearch training course and it was very interesting as well as great fun !  I now have a much better knowledge to help identify the types of plants, animals and habitats I see when I go diving. 

Please find below more information.  I undertook the Seasearch Observer’s training (the basic level !) at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust HQ at Curdridge in Hampshire. 

It is also worth checking out the web site  there is a lot if interesting survey material from the Manacles area – a place we visit every year and which we could be contributing to. 

Finally – if enough people are interested (max 12) we could organise to have a Seaserch Observer course run specifically for the club at the Waterside Centre.  The cost is £40 for the full day including your course pack.  The ideal time to run a course would be sometime between January and March 2009 to allow the follow on x2 qualification dives to take places fairly shortly after the theory training day.  If you are interested then please do speak to me. 

John Gibson

Seasearch Observer Course Overview 

The purpose of the course is to familiarise divers with introductory Seasearch Observation techniques for surveying and recording marine habitat and species data The goals of the course are: 
  1. To introduce divers to marine life, seabed habitats and simple surveying techniques
  2. To introduce divers to the Seasearch Observation form and how to complete it
  3. To enable divers to carry out a Seasearch Observation dive ensuring data accuracy

The Seasearch Observer course comprises theory sessions and a simulated video dive, and is normally completed in one day. 

Seasearch Observation Qualification follows attendance at a Seasearch Observer course, and satisfactory completion of five Seasearch Observation forms, at least two of which should be undertaken on organised Seasearch events (some of these from hardboats – especially during the week are free as the there are funded by sponsors), where there is Seasearch Tutor present to provide guidance.  Observations dives should be undertaken as soon as possible after the course.  Copies of five qualifying Observation forms should be retained by the candidate and submitted to the National Seasearch Co-ordinator when applying for the formal Seasearch Observer Qualification. 

Diving Standards for those taking part in Seasearch dives 

·        CMAS 2 star, BSAC Sports Diver, PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, SAA Club Diver, ScotSAC Sports Diver, or equivalent, with at least 20 logged dives, including 10 temperate sea dives

·        Diving medical certificate or self-declaration (as you do annually already – don’t you ?!)

·        Diver third party insurance (as provided through your BSAC membership) Course topics: 

  1. Introduction to Seasearch
  2. Introduction to marine classification – major groups and some common species
  3. Review of marine life identification books
  4. Introduction to main habitat types, and seabed cover types
  5. Recording survey site locations
  6. Seabed sketches
  7. Observer recording
  8. Seasearch diving techniques
  9. Simulated dives on video
  10. Next steps
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