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Secrets of the seabed

A dive team, commissioned by The Wildlife Trusts, is undertaking exploratory scientific surveys in a bid to better understand the UK’s marine environment and help protect it for the future

Secrets of the seabed are being revealed as professional divers and marine ecologists, gather evidence and data from five survey areas around England where existing knowledge about marine habitats is limited.

They are surveying and photographing the sands and gravels, the rock types and forms, the seaweeds and animals attached to the rocks, crabs and other creatures that crawl over the seabed and the fish that swim above, round and through them.

Joan Edwards, The Wildlife Trusts’ head of Living Seas, said: “By deploying a dive team we hope to be able to propose new areas for inclusion in the third phase of Marine Conservation Zones, which should be designated in 2016.

“Gathering data in the marine environment is notoriously difficult and time-consuming. We hope our activity will help to strengthen the existing evidence base and provide information about areas where little, or nothing, is currently known.”

The Wildlife Trusts, at the forefront of practical marine conservation and data submission, is the first non-government organisation to commission a dive team to gather such evidence.  All the data gathered will be submitted to Natural England.

You can find out all about what The Wildlife Trusts' dive team is doing here.

Photograph: c. Charles Sandercock

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