Features


SeaWatch SW Project


This month sees the launch of the new SeaWatch SW project website


SeaWatch SW is an exciting new initiative designed to collect important information about some of Europe's most threatened marine animals, including the critically endangered Balearic Shearwater,Basking Sharks, Ocean Sunfish, cetaceans and a variety of migratory seabirds. This conservation-based project is being co-ordinated by the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS) and is supported by a number of major organisations, including the RSPB, MCS, SAHFOS, RNBWS, CWT and Birdguides.

Latest news on the website includes:

1) Get involved in SeaWatch SW. Volunteer observers are required to help man the project watchpoint (Gwennap Head, Porthgwarra) during the survey period from July 15th-Oct 15th. Experienced sea-watchers who take on a core observer role will be offered free B&B accomodation. However, assistance is welcomed from observers of any level, and the survey will offer excellent opportunities to learn from top sea-watchers such as Ken Shaw.

2) Send us your UK Balearic Shearwater sightings. One of the additional aims of the project is to provide a central point for Balearic Shearwater recording in UK waters. Observers who see a Balearic Shearwater in the UK in 2007 are therefore urged to submit details of their sighting via the website, and/or submit their record to Birdguides. Every record will be added to the project database and included in monthly summaries with distribution maps. The January 2007 report is already available online.

3) Marine Life Talk at NOCS. SeaWatch SW co-ordinator, Dr Russell Wynn, will be giving a public lecture at NOCS on March 1st entitled 'The SeaWatch SW Project: Investigating climate change impacts on marine wildlife in UK waters'. Doors open at 19.15 for a 19.30 start. See the website for further details.

Other news items include Scopoli's Shearwaters breeding along the French Biscay coast, while the website also has an illustrated ID guide to Balearic Shearwaters and Basking Sharks, a photo gallery, and an extensive links page.

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