Project Seagrass

Lorem Ipsum is simply dumy text of the printing typesetting industry lorem ipsum.

Oceans Festival 2019

Oceans Festival was a day to celebrate work being carried out by scientists, educators, volunteers, artists and many more. There was a variety of stands all sharing the same passion for our oceans. With stalls selling sustainable and plastic free items to beautiful artwork of marine mammals as well as yummy vegan food there was something for everyone. There was a variety of stands all sharing the same passion for our oceans. Matt Brierley started the talks off on his new documentary he has been filming on the shark trade in the UK. It was shocking to find out that spiny dogfish which is critically endangered in the northern Atlantic is majority eaten in our fish and chip shops. These female sharks take 12 years to reach sexual maturity and has one of the longest gestation periods of any vertebrate, up to 2 years! Aside from this, illegal species are being brought into London fish markets, such as a juvenile scalloped hammerhead which is critically endangered and listed on CITES. It was terrifying to find out this happening in the UK. To move forward Matt wants “shark” to be labelled in fish and chips shops rather than the many other names it is given. This will make people more aware on what they are actually eating! A shocking fact I learnt at Scotland basking shark talk was that these sharks are consuming 440g of plastic every hour! There was a huge range of talks given from Lizzie Daly, Blue Ventures, Manta Trust and the Wave Project. This charity helps children who have had difficulties in their life and teaches them how to surf as a form of therapy. This massively helps build their confidence people, even changes the lives of these young people. This charity emphases how our oceans are used for a huge variety of purposes. To end the talks Andy Reid from Fins attached shared his involved with the charity and shared the legacy of Rob Stewart. This really touched me as when I was so inspired by Rob and his team growing up and how motivated he was to do everything he possibly can to save sharks and raise awareness of what is happening in the shark finning industry. His legacy carries on and with a new research vessel called Sharkwater which is traveling the globe to collect valuable marine data. On the stand it was great to hear such positive feedback from people about the project and to educate people about the importance of these incredible underwater plants. As well as seeing people wanting to get involved with the work being carried out by Project Seagrass. Overall there was a great sense of ocean optimism that spread across the festival, with people who are making a difference and to save our blue planet. Hopefully there will be more brilliant events like these. Thank you Oceans Festival 2019 for having us, and to everyone who volunteered. It was very fulfilling and enjoyable day! Thank you for reading. Issy Inman

Intership Reflections – An introduction to Underwater Gardening!

Hello, I am Issy, a new intern at Project Seagrass. I just wanted to share with you a quick update with what I have been involved in so far! My first day started at Porthcawl beach, with two groups of excited primary school children. Here, in small groups, marine animals were built using natural material found along the beach. It was great to see how enthusiastic and engaged the kids were, some who rarely get to go to the beach. Inspiring the next generation is a vital for both raising awareness of the importance of our oceans, and for creating a passion and love for our oceans. After a week of getting settled, I was lucky to go to Falmouth with Evie Furness to start the picking of the seeds for the Seagrass Ocean Rescue project. We were showing a group of volunteer SCUBA divers what the seeds looked like, and how to collect them. It was a very enjoyable experience and I met some lovely people. It was also my first time snorkelling in seagrass meadows, I was taken back on how beautiful the Cornish coast is, and how and clear the water in seagrass meadows can be! The meadows I snorkelled in were huge and it felt like you could get lost in them. Shortly after Cornwall I joined the rest of the team in north Wales where the main picking was being held. Alex and I would go snorkelling collecting the seeds while the rest of the team went scuba diving. We would spend up to an hour and half in the water, I found it was peaceful and very therapeutic collecting the seeds, it was like being an underwater gardener! As seagrass being a nursey ground there was a range of fish species present including a greater pipefish. During our time in North Wales we were lucky to have teams from our partners Sky Ocean Rescue and WWF come and film the work being carried out here. This was a thrilling experience, and nice to see a buzz about the project from the public. It is vital to raise awareness of seagrass and its importance to the ecosystem as part of the issue conservation has not gone ahead is the lack of knowledge and understanding to the general public. Sky Ocean Rescue and WWF have been amazing at shinning the spotlight on seagrass. This will hopefully encourage more projects like these to go ahead in the future. Immediately after our trip to north Wales, Alex and I went back to Falmouth for a shore dive so more volunteer divers could get involved with the picking. There was also a BBQ to raise money DDRC Health in Plymouth as well as baby lobsters being released into the seagrass meadows from national lobster hatchery. It was great to see so many people involved and from a variety of ages, all willing to give up there Sunday afternoons to help with this project. Finally, another trip back to North wales for Seagrass-Watch. This is a scheme to monitor meadows across the globe to check the health and early signs for any degradation. Waking up at 3am in order to work with the low tide is fairly typical start time for a marine biologist, and watching the sunrise was magical – completely worth the early start! Over the couple of months it has been nonstop, I have met so many wonderful people and I have loved getting a hands on experience with the field work on such an important project. It has opened my eyes to how these restoration projects across the globe requires so much effort and hard work from many volunteers and workers but how fulfilling and worthwhile it is. I am looking forward to what the rest of the year has in store. I would like to give and big thank you to everyone who has helped with this project so far. Thank you for reading. Issy