Seasearch Diving

Seasearch Diving

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 coordinating all Seasearch activities in the county.

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.

Would you like to be kept up to date with the project including details on upcoming training events and dives? Click here to add your name and email address.

Receive Seasearch emails

For more information please email seasearch@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk.

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

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 information 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 these sites would not have been established without the data collected by seasearch volunteers. Increasingly the work of seasearch will be vital in monitoring the effectiveness of the management of these areas.

Visit www.seasearch.org.uk for much more information on the National Seasearch programme.

Crawfish by Chris Whitworth

Events for 2020

Sadly due to the Coronavirus lockdown we have had to cancel many of our dives and training opportunities for this year. We will re assess the situation at the end of May and depending on government advice will announce the programme then. 

In the mean time we are running lots of online training events, please sign up to our mailing list to receive notifications.

For more information and to book onto events please email: seasearch@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk

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 over-fished 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 or access the editable crawfish recording form.

In spring 2019 we launched our #HandsOffOurCrawfish campaign. We are asking divers to pledge not to collect crawfish on their dives, boat skippers, dive clubs and dive schools are signing up and stickers are being put on dive boats to warn divers not to collect these amazing animals. For more info visit our Crawfish project page.

Grey seal - Caz Waddell

Caz Waddell

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

Thanks to our sponsors! 

In 2019, the Seasearch Diving programme organised by Cornwall Wildlife Trust was supported by the kind donations from:

  • Tesco's bags of life campaign £4000
  • The Worshipfull Company of Fishmongers for a grant of £2000
  • Hands off our Crawfish campaign was sponsored by Sea-Changers.

We are really grateful 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.

Seasearch Cornwall. A film by Nina Powell.