About the Sealife Survey

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Sealife Survey

Sealife Survey is a citizen science marine recording project run by the Marine Biological Association's recording team.

Originally part of the MarLIN scheme for marine environmental management, protection and education, the Sealife Survey recording scheme was set up and integrated with the Marine Sightings Network project to make recording marine life easier. The Marine Sightings Network enables experts from various recording schemes to help validate and process records by sharing their expertise and collaborating to identify and confirm your sightings.

If you would like help identifying a species you can email pictures and questions to recording@mba.ac.uk or post on the Sealife Survey facebook page

Why record

Warming seas, non-native invaders and human activities are all affecting our marine environment. Records of marine life are needed to inform decision-makers, to track changes, to find out why things are changing and, let’s not forget, because recording is fun!

Sealife Survey on Facebook

The MBA recording scheme can now be followed on the Sealife Survey Facebook page.

How your records will help

All records sent into Sealife Survey are firstly checked by marine experts and are then sent to the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) gateway so that they are available for use in research, conservation and planning. The volunteer dataset is accessed around 3000 times per month on the NBN! You can view and download the records here!

View all the sightings

This website allows you to keep track of your own sightings, but the real advantage of the Sealife Survey scheme is that your records will be aggregated together with other people's sightings from around the country and will help to build a full picture of the marine life changes throughout the UK.

For an example of how your records contribute, MarLIN displays your records of seabed and seashore species from around Britain and Ireland.

This website uses an Indicia Data Warehouse hosted by the Biological Records Centre (a group within the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology).

How to record marine life

If you would like help identifying a species you can email pictures and questions to recording@mba.ac.uk or post them on the Sealife Survey Facebook page.

New to recording? Read our recording marine life guide to find out how to become a marine life recorder!

If you're a regular sealife spotter - or plan to become one - you can register for an account at the site here so that you can keep track of your sightings and photographs as you go!

MarLIN holds and makes available records of marine life from professional surveys and volunteer recorders. MarLIN provides marine life information and facilities for volunteer recorders including online recording. The Marine Sightings Network and identification guides support these online resources.

Other schemes

MarLIN collaborates with other recording schemes especially Seasearch and the Rare Fish recording scheme. The Marine Sighting Network directs users to other marine life recording schemes. We also support Wakame Watch and Mitten Crab Watch.