How to Record Marine Life

A wide range of volunteer recorders submit records to the Sealife survey. After validation from a marine scientist, records are sent to the National Biodiversity Network for display on the NBN Gateway. The Sealife Signpost and identification guides support these online resources.

Online recording

To make records of marine life:

  1. Log in to the online recording form. If you are a new recorder, you will need to fill in your contact details. You only need to do this once and your details will be remembered.
  2. Make your record by filling in the fields. Required fields are marked with an asterisk. You can create records for as many species as you like for a particular date and location. You can also upload photos to go with each record.

The recording form can also be downloaded and printed. If you prefer to fill the form in this way, please return it to: Sealife Survey, MBA Data Team, The Laboratory, Citadel Hill, Plymouth, Devon PL1 2PB Feedback is provided so that you can view your submissions. Records will not appear instantaneously on the Website as first they need to be validated and verified. To complement our online resources, MBA produces identification guides and the Sealife Signpost.

Get involved!

If you are interested in joining structured intertidal surveys, please look at the Things To Do page and Education Projects you can get involved in!

Validation and verification

All records received by the MBA's Sealife Survey recording scheme are checked before being placed online. Recording forms are checked to see that fields are filled in correctly. This is called validation. Records are verified by checking the species in question against known occurrences and existing records.

Why do I have to login?

Login allows you to keep track of your records and view your sightings on the MBA website. If a record is unusual or suggests that a species has been found outside of its known geographical range, We might also need to contact the recorder to find out more information before we are able to validate the record. See our terms of service to see how we use your personal information.