Seasearch Diving

Seasearch survey Cornwall Seasearch Survey at Gul Rock near Holywell Bay

Seasearch is a national project for volunteer divers who have an interest in what they are seeing under water, who want to learn more and who want to help protect the marine environment. Cornwall Wildlife Trust is responsible for co-ordinating all Seasearch activities in the county.

 If you are a qualified diver we want to hear about the marine life you see on your dives!

The aim of Seasearch is to record marine habitats and species found around our coast, and to use the information to identify sites of specific conservation concern. The data collected helps us with our conservation work and raises public awareness of the value of our marine environment.

Once you are qualified as a Seasearch Observer any dive can be a Seasearch dive, you just fill in a simple form and send it in to us! 

How you can get involved

Seasearch is a national project set up by the Marine Conservation Society and coordinated in Cornwall by Cornwall Wildlife Trust. We have a network of qualified divers who participate in organised surveys and complete and send in Seasearch forms from their own recreational dives. If you would like to get involved contact us on: Alternatively if you would like to be added to our email list please  CLICK HERE. You can also keep in touch via our facebook page.

Seasearch is fun!

It is great to dive with like minded people who are interested in marine wildlife. Many Seasearchers are keen underwater photographers and seasearch is a fantastic way to improve your marine species identification and knowledge while making new friends and having fun! 

Seasearch is important

The infomation recorded over the past 15 years of the Seasearch programme has been a vital tool for our marine conservation work. Without this vital work we would have far less knowledge about our coastal marine life.  Data is used to monitor changes driven by factors such as climate change, introduction of non-native marine species and effects on the environment of plastic pollution, fishing and other human activities. Seasearch data has been a driving factor in the newly expanded network of Marine Protected areas designated around our coasts and many of thses sites would not have been established without the data collected by seasearch volunteers. Increasingly the work of seasearch will be vital in monitoring the effectivness of the management of these areas.

Visit for much more infomation on the National Seasearch programme.

Events 2018

We have an amazing year planned in 2018 which is the 30th anniversary of the National Seasearch program!

You can download the full programme by clicking the link at the bottom of this page. Here are a few dates for your diaries to get started with! 

21st and 22nd April 2018 Seasearch Observer Course. venue, Five Acres, Allet Cost £60 Tutors Matt Slater and Caz Waddell. This is our entry level course that gets you started as a Seasearch diver- suitable for qualifed divers who are interested in learning about our marine life. No prior marine biology knowledge neccesary. To book and for more details please click here

Tuesday 16th January 6.30pm -9pm Cornish Crustaceans, an illustrated talk to help divers and rockpoolers with crustacean ID Leader Matt Slater. Booking essential as spaces are limited. Email FULLY BOOKED

Tuesday 6th March 6.30- 9pm Introduction to Seaweeds for Divers and Rockpoolers -  at Allet. Led by Matt Slater. A hands on id training session / social. Booking essential as spaces limited email

Sunday 18th March, Marine ID Course at NMA with Sally Sharrock – Improve your marine species Identification and visit the amazing National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth! Booking details TBC

20th March 6.30pm – 9pm Introduction to seaweeds for Divers and Rockpoolers – at Allet, Free. Hands on id training / social, led by Matt Slater. Booking essential as spaces are limited email  FULLY BOOKED

May 12th Surveyor Development Day – this is an interactive day of training for new and old surveyors to refresh their skills and knowledge to make filling in those forms easier and to learn a little more about how to make the data you collect as useful as possible for our conservation work. Leaders Sally Sharrock and Matt Slater. Venue CWT meeting room Allet.  To book email

• May 13th Seasearch Sunday – Mid Cornwall #1. Full day of diving From Harlyn Divers Large Rib, exploring the amazing marine life of either Padstow bay and surrounds or St Austell bay maerl beds and reefs. Cost £59.09. To book click here.

May 20th Seasearch Sunday – Mid Cornwall #2. Full day of diving From Harlyn Divers Large Rib, either from Rock or from Fowey diving Maerl beds and Mussel farm. Reefs Rocks and seagrass Cost £59.09 per diver. To book click here.

June 3rd Seasearch Sunday Crawfish Survey #1.  - Crawfish survey dives £30 (two dives ) per day. Falmouth Bay with Atlantic scuba RIB Cost £41.33 per diver. To book click here.  

Wednesday June 20th Crawfish survey #2.– Crawfish survey dives from Falmouth with Atlantic Scuba £41.33 per head. To book click here.

Sunday Sept 2nd West Cornwall dives with Charles Hood Rib details TBC
Sunday Sept 16th West Cornwall Dives with Charles Hood details TBC

Sponges specialist Course September 29th and 30th with Jenifer Jones £60, Being held at Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Allet near Truro. An introduction to UK sponges for Seasearch divers and rockpoolers. Day one – introduction to common species, id tips and biology of sponges . Day 2 shore dive in morning to collect photos and specimens – lab session in pm. To book click here. 

For more infomation and to book onto events please email: 


Have you seen a Crawfish? Please tell us!

Crawfish (Palinurus elephas) are a species that is becoming more abundant around our coasts despite years of decline. If you see one please let us know! We are very keen to monitor the return of this species that was overfished in Cornish waters in the 1980's and is now making a welcome return. Please record location and details, fill in our form and email it to us! 

Click here for instructions on filling in the crawfish recording form 

Click here to acess the editable Crawfish recording form. 


Qualifications and experience

Please note that for all Seasearch diving with Cornwall Wildlife Trust you must meet the following requirements:

•Be aged 18 or over
•Be a trained diver qualified to the level of BSAC Sports diver, PADI Rescue diver or equivalent
•Have recent experience of cold water diving including a minimum of 20 logged dives, 10 of which should be in the UK and 2 of which should be within the last 6 months.
•Have your own dive gear or able to rent dive gear which must be serviceable and within test date
•Have a current diving medical or self-certification declaration
•Have third party liability diving insurance.
•Be fit on the day and fully able to participate


Cornish underwater wildlife on film

Experience Cornish marine wildlife in our series of films created by Cornish Film maker Thomas Dagurre of Hydro Motion Media CIC

The films were produced for the 2016 National Marine Week on the theme of 'Rockpool Horrors'

Click here to watch them!

Thanks to our sponsors! 

In 2018 the Seasearch Diving programme organised by Cornwall Wildlife Trust was supported by the kind dotations from.

The Worshipfull Company of Fishmongers for a grant of £2000


Cornwall Councillors  Cherilyn Williams, Linda Taylor and Tom French for their award of £400 through the Councillor Community Chest Scheme.

We are really greatful for your support and of course for the support from all of our volunteers who give up their free time and pay for their spaces on our courses and dive boats. 


FilenameFile size
seasearch_programme_2018_version_1.docx62.33 KB
seasearch_annual_report_2017.pdf2.92 MB
seasearch_annual_report_2016.pdf3.42 MB
final_report_manacles_mcz_survey_july_2017_1.pdf6.74 MB
final_report_newquay_mcz_survey_may_2017.pdf11.83 MB