Information about this project including dates and venues for training courses and surveys for the rest of the year can be found on the fseasearch website www.seasearch.org.uk which is regularly updated. Training courses cover the Seasearch Observer and Seasearch Surveyor qualifications with the aim of getting individual divers and dive clubs involved.
For more information about Seasearch activities in the South East region click here.
EU fisheries reform would 'privatise oceans'
THE European Commission are planning to reform the EU's fishing industry by giving vessels quota shares guaranteed for periods of at least 15 years, according to a BBC News report.
The commission will issue a proposal on reforming the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in July, to take effect in 2013.
But a draft obtained by BBC News is said to outline moves that some environmentalists describe as "virtual privatisation of the oceans.".
Final decisions on fishing quotas will stay with politicians, not scientists.
The 28-year-old CFP is intended to keep catches within sustainable limits, but has often been criticised for doing the opposite.
IFAW say seal hunt extension is “meaningless gesture”
THE International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) today condemned Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans' (DFO) decision to extend the seal hunt season for Newfoundland and Labrador fishermen, describing the move as an “arrogant show of defiant refusal to admit the truth.”
The animal welfare group maintained the commercial seal hunt is a dying industry, pointing out that prices for seal pelts remain low, that very few sealers took part in the annual slaughter this year and that extending the sealing season is: “Unlikely to offer any benefit to fishermen this year.”
The DFO announcement had said the hunt was extended "until further notice," but it seemed highly unlikely that many more seals will be killed this year, IFAW contended.
EC aims to halt biodiversity loss in ten years
THE European Commission has presented a new strategy to protect and improve the state of Europe’s biodiversity over the next decade. The strategy includes six targets which it says address the main drivers of biodiversity loss, and will reduce the main pressures on nature and ecosystem services in the EU by anchoring biodiversity objectives in key sectoral policies.
A statement by the commission says the global aspects of biodiversity loss are also addressed, ensuring that the EU contributes to combating biodiversity loss around the world. It says the strategy is in line with the commitments made by the EU in Nagoya, Japan, last year.
Agnew to lead MSC standards and licensing division
RUPERT Howes, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) chief executive, has announced the appointment of Dr David Agnew to the role of MSC Director of Standards and Licensing.
Dr Agnew will lead the teams responsible for the development and operation of the MSC environmental standard and methodologies for fishery certification, and the MSC Chain of Custody standard for supply chain traceability. As a member of the senior management team, he will also be responsible for helping ensure that the MSC deliver their future plans.
you interested in studying one of the marine sciences
or taking up a marine science related career?
visit our website for information you may find useful: Enter
Coastguard plan scrutiny reaches key stage
A WESTMINSTER committee looking at UK government plans for the future of the coastguard service has reached its deadline for written submissions, according to BBC News.
The Transport Committee is continuing its inquiry on proposals for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to shut 10 of the UK's 18 centres.
Under the plans, Scotland's five 24-hour centres would be reduced to one, with a second open in daylight hours.
Across the UK there would be three round-the-clock centres planned for Aberdeen, Dover and the Southampton/Portsmouth area.
The five remaining sites, which would operate just during daylight, would be Swansea, Falmouth in Cornwall, Humber, either Belfast or Liverpool, and either Stornoway or Shetland.
It is believed the move could see up to 250 job losses nationwide by 2014.
The findings of the committee will be considered by the UK government as part of the consultation on the MCA proposals
Food Law Practice Guidance published
THE Food Standards Agency have published updated practice guidance for the food law code of practice.
The practice guidance takes into account developments in enforcement since the previous version was published in 2006.
In addition, a number of revisions have been made to the official forms contained in the guidance and references to legislation, web links and contact details have been updated.
Higher prices bring cheer for Marine Harvest
FISH farm giants Marine Harvest today reported strong demand in their key salmon markets during 2010. They also revealed improved financial results and financial position as well as operational progress.
But the company’s annual meeting also heard today that there had been a tight supply situation last year with the global salmon harvest down by 1.8 %.
However there had been significant increase in price affecting key markets: 35% (EUR), 22%( USD) and 24% (NOK).
Ireland lends support to international fisheries protection
IRELAND, the United Kingdom, France and Spain are to share resources, patrol vessels and personnel in a continuing effort to monitor trans-boundary fisheries.
A spokesman from the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority said: “This further development of international co-operation on fisheries control for 2011 involves one Member State providing an inspection vessel with inspectors from the various other Member States onboard. This allows the inspection vessel to operate across each Member State’s European Economic Zone boundaries.
“This year Ireland will provide the Naval Vessel LE Aoife which will act as a platform for inspectors from Ireland, United Kingdom, France and Spain to engage in fisheries control. This patrol will take place in May and will operate in the European Economic Zone’s of Ireland, United Kingdom, France and Spain.
“Historically the control of trans-boundary fishing was a problem as fishing vessels could cross from one jurisdiction to another to avoid inspection. The problem was initially very prevalent in the North Sea and the first proposals for trans-boundary co-operation within the EU were developed there.
Sustainable Seafood Coalition formed to eliminate fish discards
A NEW seafood coalition endorsed by Fish Fight campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has been formed to take the lead on eliminating fish discards.
Major businesses selling seafood including Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, The Co-operative, Birds Eye, the Icelandic Group (parent company of The Saucy Fish Co.), Young's Seafood Limited (and parent company Findus Group) and Fish4ever are the first members of the newly formed Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SSC).
SSC members, brought together by environmental law organisation ClientEarth, are frustrated with lack of progress overturning the unacceptable practice of discarding (throwing dead fish back into the sea) and collecting adequate data needed to manage fish stocks in order to help the UK’s seafood market become more sustainable.
The majority of UK consumers eat mostly five different species of fish, placing unsustainable pressure on just a few species. Of half of all fish discarded there is currently no market for these species among UK consumers.
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British Wildlife Photography Awards 2011
The competition is now open for entries!
The competition opened on 1 February 2011, with a prize fund of up to £20,000. The British Wildlife Photography Awards in 2011 are your chance to win a prestigious photography award and cash prize of £5,000.
Paddle Round the Pier (or ‘Paddle’) is Europe’s biggest FREE beach and watersports festival. It runs every year on the beautiful venue of Hove Lawns – Brighton & Hove – and features the very best in water, street & urban sports, live music, kids entertainment, ‘have a go’ opportunities and much, much more.
In this Issue: , No Excuse To Make The Wrong Fish Choice, Brits Rubbish Habits Are Going Down The Pan, Major exercise will test UK's oil spill response, Help Our Long Distance Travelling Heroes In a Hard Shell, Marine Conservation Society Wins Coast Magazine’s “Best Green Marine Campaign” Award, Dates
for your diary and more!
Press Releases and Latest News
MCS and Prince of Wales at Selfridges “Project Ocean” launch
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) recently published its latest seafood advice, guiding consumers towards making sustainable choices in seafood. MCS’s advice is also used by many retailers, restaurants and fishbuyers to inform which fish they buy and sell could be considered environmentally sustainable.
Selfridges is the latest retailer to have taken MCS’s advice for their “Project Ocean”, launched 11 May and running until June. With input from the MCS Aquaculture & Fisheries team, Selfridges has produced a sustainable seafood buyers guide for its shoppers, and has removed all fish from MCS’s list of “Fish to Avoid” from its fishmonger’s counter.
There’s No Excuse To Make The Wrong Fish Choice, As Simplified Sustainability Guide Is Launched
5th May 2010
But seafood labelling still makes consumer choice difficult, says Marine Conservation Society
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has today launched its most comprehensive sustainable seafood advice to date, giving consumers, industry, chefs and retailers the best chance they’ve ever had to make the right decision when it comes to buying seafood.
MCS says that by making the right choices now, and by varying the types of fish to go with chips or in chowder, consumers can allow depleted fish stocks to recover and ensure future generations have the opportunity to enjoy a fish supper.
A new online consumer guide to sustainable seafood, the Good Fish Guide, at www.goodfishguide.org.uk, gives straightforward advice and recipe ideas to help make buying choices simple and more varied. This site links with the more comprehensive Fishonline website, www.fishonline.org which is already widely used by the public, chefs and industry as a one-stop reference point when sourcing sustainable fish. Fishonline was the tool of choice for celebrity chefs during Channel 4’s Fish Fight series earlier this year, and is updated with easier search functions for fish buyers and consumers wanting to buy sustainably.
The MCS Pocket Good Fish Guide has also been updated, and now includes a credit card-sized guide to purchasing fish, with top buying tips and questions to ask at the fish counter when labelling isn’t sufficiently informative.
Brits Rubbish Habits Are Going Down The Pan
20th April 2011
Brits rubbish habits are going down the pan as more of us use the toilet as a watery dustbin
Marine Conservation Society condemns rise in bathroom rubbish found on UK beaches and urges the public to ‘bag it and bin it – don’t flush it’
The British public are putting far more down their toilets than they should be and the result is beaches awash with items like cotton buds, condoms, sanitary towels and tampon applicators, according to the latest findings from the Marine Conservation Society’s (MCS) Beachwatch Big Weekend 2010 report.
Despite litter levels on our beaches falling in 2009 from an all time high in 2008, last year average litter levels increased by 6%, with a rise of over 40% in sewage related debris – that’s the stuff we shouldn’t put down our toilets but in the bathroom waste bin instead.
MCS Beachwatch Officer, Lauren Davis, says the figures reveal a shocking picture of what people do in the privacy of their own bathroom: “Increasingly people seem to be putting things down their loos that belong in the bin. Cotton buds, condoms, tampons, tampon applicators and sanitary towels are being flushed away with an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ perception. But sewerage networks and waste water treatment works are not specifically designed to remove these sort of items and unfortunately more and more are ending up in our rivers and then on our beaches.”
The MCS Beachwatch Big Weekend 2010 results were collected by almost 5,000 volunteers who cleaned 376 beaches, covering a total of 167 kilometres over the 18th and 19th September 2010. 330,107 items of litter were collected filling over 3,000 bags. For every kilometre surveyed almost 2,000 pieces of litter were found.
Major exercise will test UK's oil spill response
THE UK will test its response to a deep water oil spill incident on May 18 and 19 by running Exercise Sula in Aberdeen and in Shetland.
Sula will simulate how the UK would react to a major oil spill incident offshore, with a focus on well control, at sea counter pollution measures and shoreline protection. The exercise will test subsea well control response capability, command and control functions, and the counter-pollution response used to control an ongoing oil spill.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are leading Exercise Sula. Also participating in the exercise are Chevron Upstream Europe, Oil Spill Response, Stena Offshore, Briggs Environmental, Braemar Howells, BP (Sullom Voe terminal), Shetland Islands Council, Marine Scotland, Hess, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Northern Constabulary, Scottish Natural Heritage, Foods Standards Agency, the Scottish fishing industry, Oil & Gas UK and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Exercise Sula will test the co-ordination of all organisations involved.
Adopt-a-Turtle And Help Our Long Distance Travelling Heroes In a Hard Shell
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) says without urgent action now, some turtle populations could be lost forever. Six out of the seven species of marine turtles worldwide are now endangered and with turtles illegally hunted for their eggs, MCS is urging lovers of the chocolate ones to spare a thought for this endangered variety.
Even if a beautiful, tiny turtle hatchling does emerge from its egg, the scramble to reach the ocean from the security of its nest is fraught with danger. With just the natural threats marine turtles face, only one in a thousand turtle eggs result in an adult turtle. But man’s activities, including hunting, fishing bycatch, pollution and nesting beach development make a baby turtle’s odds for survival far worse. By adopting a turtle this Easter you will be helping MCS protect these amazing animals from extinction.
Fast Food Wrappers Litter Lovely Langland
11th April 2011
Fast food wrappers litter lovely Langland
Beach clean reveals hundreds of items of rubbish waiting for unsuspecting day trippers
The latest Marine Conservation Society (MCS) clean up of Langland Beach, Gower, near Swansea, has revealed a shocking number of fast food containers littering the beach, as well as bottle tops and sweet wrappers.
Almost twenty volunteers helped give Langland a spring clean on Sunday 10th April and managed to fill three bags full of rubbish that was either left behind by visitors or washed up on the tide.
MCS Welsh Programme Manager, Gill Bell, said initially the beach looked quite clean. “Although superficially the beach looked very clean and tidy, volunteers found lots of small items of litter hidden within the pebbles at the back of the beach. In fact a total of over 3,000 items weighing just over eight kilos were found in the 100 meters we surveyed.”
The MCS Beachwatch survey found a staggering 452 pieces of polystyrene fast food containers, 329 bottle tops and 173 sweet wrappers. The survey found lots of other pieces of polystyrene too, 713 pieces in total.
Marine Conservation Society Wins Coast Magazine’s “Best Green Marine Campaign” Award
24th March 2011
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is proud to announce that it has won a coveted “Coast Award 2011”. The award for "Best Green Marine Campaign" is for its Beachwatch project, the marine litter survey and clean-up held at beaches all around the UK.
The annual Coast Awards celebrate the people and places that represent all that is innovative, valuable and exciting around the British coastline. MCS Beachwatch was nominated for the award by Coast magazine's readers, who responded in their hundreds to propose the very best in a number of categories. Nominations with the most votes were then taken before a panel of esteemed, and critical judges.
At the Awards ceremony last night, TV presenter Michaela Strachan said "Marine litter is one of the most important issues affecting our world at the moment, and this year’s winner impressed our judges with the sheer scale of its initiative, aimed at tackling the problem at source. It was felt that in the past year this campaign had had a particularly powerful impact and for this they deserved a huge pat on the back.".
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Our meetings are bi-monthly starting at 8.00pm in the function
room of the Holland Club at the Imperial College of London
SW7 2AZ. The nearest entrance is in Prince Consort Road.
Parking within the grounds is expensive but free on single
yellow lines in the surrounding public roads, after 6.30pm.
The nearest underground train is South Kensington. We meet
in the bar from 7.30pm.
You don’t have to be an MCS member to
attend the meetings and there is no charge, although
we do raffle
a bottle of wine to help pay for the room.
July: A speaker from head office to give information on campaign updates
September: No meeting but we are trying to arrange a trip to a marine event.
October: Hoping to have Gavin back to give a talk about his present photographic assignments.
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for your diary
8th June World Oceans Day
The concept for a “World Ocean Day” was first proposed in 1992 by the Government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. As a result of a United Nations General Assembly resolutionpassed in December 2008, World Oceans Day is now officially recognized by the UN as June 8th each year.
Since 2002, The Ocean Project and the World Ocean Network have helped to promote and coordinate World Oceans Day events worldwide with aquariums, zoos, museums, conservation organizations, universities, schools, and businesses. Each year an increasing number of countries and organizations have been marking June 8th as an opportunity to celebrate our world ocean and our personal connection to the sea.
2nd - 3rd July 2011 Paddle Round The Pier
Paddle Round The Pier is back bigger and better than ever and we are there and planning to enter a raft on the Sunday fun event.
30th July to 14th August - Marine Week 2011. The aim is to be to be part of those events - by making our shore events accessible and welcoming local participation wherever possible. If anyone is willing to do talks and demos that would be great, but don't worry - the surveying is the prime focus. The dates are set now with a start in Essex on Monday 1st August running through to Northumberland on Wednesday 10th.
The planned itinerary is:
Monday 1st Essex - Blackwater estuary and shore
Tuesday 2nd Suffolk shore and port algae survey - underwater TBD!
Wednesday 3rd Norfolk shore /dive inshore chalk reefs?
Thursday 4th Norfolk shore /dive offsore
Friday 5th Lincolnshire Gibralter Point/ underwater maybe?
Saturday 6th Yorkshire Flamborough Head South?
Sunday 7th Yorkshire Flamborough Head North?
Monday 8th Durham DHC shore and dive
Tuesday 9th Northumberland Beadnell shore + underwater
Wednesday 10th Northumberland Holy Island shore + Farne Islands underwater If you'd like more info please just drop us a line or call - 01728 660 598. There's a summary of the proposal online here:
There is a more detailed and costed proposal for those who are considering offering support or enjoy a read. It doesn't yet contain final site details – the project is very keen that the best local knowledge and advice guides are taken into consideration... The online summary will be updated as news comes in.
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If you’re in the Southampton area, Dr. Ken Collins of the Southampton Oceanographic centre arranges talks at 7.30pm on the first Thursday of each month. Times and subjects can be found on his website www.soc.ac.ukor their events website
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Marine Life Identification Courses:
Four of these popular courses have been organized for this year. They include learning about the identification and basic biology of most of the marine species to be found by divers in UK waters. Saturday afternoon is spent under Swanage Pier, our very own underwater classroom, studying the marine life and some specimens are taken back to the lab for closer scrutiny under the microscope.
16/17 July ,
Other courses include Underwater Photography with Paul Naylor and Marine Ecology, this is the second part of the Marine Life Identification Course which covers marine habitats and communities. Marine Ecology:
Marine Life Photography course:
N.B: These courses also qualify as Seasearch Specialist courses. The courses all include a dive under Swanage Pier (our underwater classroom) or a shore walk for non-divers, to carry out practical coursework.
For more details and booking information please contact Gerry Casey on 01923 231575 or firstname.lastname@example.org Booking forms and additional information about these courses is available from our website at www.marine-conservation.org.uk
We are also prepared to travel to other locations around the country to run the marine life and ecology courses should it be required. Please contact Gerry Casey for details.
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Help MCS turn the tide on pollution
Pollution from sewers, farmland and city streets is a serious concern at almost half of the UK's bathing beaches, and beach litter levels are at their highest since records began. On average that means about two items for every step you take on the beach!Litter and sewage pollution is not only an eyesore but is also a danger to the amazing wildlife in our seas and on our beaches. We want to see action taken to reduce litter levels on our beaches by half by 2015 and to see a drop in sewage pollution.
Protecting wildlifeOur oceans support an estimated ten million species, only three percent of which have been identified. But our rich ocean wildlife is being depleted, disappearing before we have even had the chance to learn about it. We are losing biodiversity at a rate never witnessed before, at huge cost to ourselves, and leaving a degraded environment that leaves wildlife vulnerable in the face of change.
MCS, the perfect catch
80% of European fish stocks are overfished!
Right now, fish are being taken out of the sea so quickly that they can't be replenished. It is not just how many fish we are catching, but how we catch them.Some fishing methods take far more fish than we need. Alarming quantities of young, unwanted fish are thrown back, dead, into the sea. Some fishing activities seriously damage our fragile seabed habitats, or kill quantities of other sea life such as dolphins, seals and birds in the process.MCS is working with all aspects of the fisheries and aquaculture industries to try and find solutions to these problems.
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Have you seen these Species?
Information on the following species
is required: See website for extra info + id picturesHave you seen the Carpet Sea Squirt?
The Carpet Sea Squirt (Didemnum vexillum) was only
confirmed in British waters in 2008. However, there
are strong concerns that it will quickly colonise a
much wider area as it has been found to do in other
countries such as New Zealand and the USA.Along with other problems, based on current predictions
this species could cost mussel farming between £1.3
and £6.8 million over the next ten years. Other
impacts include potentially clogging fishing equipment,
biofouling boats and smothering native reef habitats.
It grows at a phenomenal rate smothering all other
native life forms.It was found in Holyhead Harbour in North Wales in 2008
and more recently in marinas of the Clyde and on the
Argyll coast. In March this year it was found at marinas
in Gosport, Lymington and Cowes.
Other species to look out for: Crawfish, Any sightings,
past and present are required and there is a survey
form on the ‘Seasearch’ website.Seahorses – The Seasearch project is calling on
all divers to look out for and record sightings of
all pipefish and seahorses they see on their dives around
the UK. In last couple of years there has been a big
increase in diver sightings of the snake pipefish and
both species of seahorses. Formerly rarely seen, the snake
pipefish has become
abundant at certain times of year, especially on North
Sea coasts, but unusual numbers of juveniles have been
seen in the Atlantic as well. A recording form can be
downloaded from the Seasearch website.
Jellyfish: A UK jellyfish survey has been set up by MCS.
Survey forms are obtainable from head office as well
as an A4, colour identification sheet.
Jellyfish are vital food sources to turtles, of which
a number of species are being sighted around the British
Isles; see ‘Basking Sharks and Turtles’ below. Fanshell: MCS are still conducting surveys into sightings
of the large Fanshell (Atrina fragilis). Location, size,
numbers and damage are required. A leaflet is available
from head office. The fanshell lives partially buried
in soft mud and sand around the coasts of Britain, the
Mediterranean and the east Atlantic. These shells, related
to mussels and clams, can reach up 480mm in length.Basking
Sharks and Turtles: Very little is known about these
magnificent animals, so should you be out and about,
on and under British waters during the year, ‘Basking
Shark and Turtle Watch’ Sighting Report Cards are
available from MCS, along with a report on the findings
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The MCS head office website at www.mcsuk.org will give
up to the minute information on events and news in the
marine world as well as details of the local groups in
The South East Group website can be found on www.marine-conservation.org.uk The South East Group and MCS Head Office now have links
on ‘Facebook’ should you wish to contact
other members.For more information about any of the above please contact
Paul Biggin (Chairman SE group) on 01923 662248 or e-mail
at email@example.com Details for the Marine Life courses run by the South
East Group can be obtained from Gerry Casey (Course coordinator)
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Society Of Underwater Photographers
those of you with an interest in underwater photography
details of the British Society of Underwater Photographers
(BSOUP) can be found at www.bsoup.org They also hold meetings
in the Holland Club at Imperial College on the third Wednesday
of each month. The evening consists of talks on a number
of subjects and a competition of member’s photos.
End of Newsletter