Citizen ScienceGet involved in citizen science; take part in surveys and record marine life.
Citizen Science is the involvement of citizens in scientific study. the MBA has a very long history of involving citizens in the collection of scientific data and continues with this tradition through a number of citizen science projects.
The MBA is a member of the European Citizen Science Association and we strive to follow the '10 principles of Citizen Science' published by the association. Members of the MBA's education team are also members of the international Citizen Science Association.
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. Get involved with Sealife Survey.
Capturing Our Coast aims to share best practice and work with other organisations leading related marine projects. In this way, together we can achieve a co-ordinated join-up of marine survey effort that will benefit the marine environment. There should therefore be something happening at the coast near you.
The MBA is one of 7 national hubs and the team runs events, training and surveys in the south west region of the UK.
This project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Contact us for more information and a chance to get involved.
The Shore Thing works with schools and community groups around the British Isles to collect information on rocky sea shore life. The project follows on from the UK’s Marine Biodiversity and Climate Change Programme (MarClim). MarClim and has collected over a decade of data. Find out more and contact us to get involved
Non-native (Alien, non-indigenous, exotic or introduced) species (NNS) are organisms which have been introduced by humans outside their natural range (Convention on Biological Diversity). Many such species live with no detectable environmental, economic or social consequences. There are a few however, which have identifiable negative impacts on the environment, the economy, and the way we live. These organisms are commonly referred to as ‘invasive non-native species’ (INNS). The MBA is involved in Non-native Species Research. The Bishop Group undertakes research into non-native sessile animals and have developed a series of identification guides. The MBA is a partner in the BRC led GB Non-native Species Information Portal and is a key partner in a number of citizen science projects aimed at collecting information about non-native species.
Mitten Crab Recording
Chinese mitten crabs are considered by the IUCN Invasive Specialist Group to be one of the 100 'world's worst' invasive species. They can cause damage to fishing gear and river banks, block intake screens, modify natural habitats and compete with native species. It is this economic and ecological damage that makes this crab such an unwelcome arrival. The full extent of these exotic pests in English and Welsh waters is currently unclear and a consortium of research institutes is requesting mitten crab sightings from members of the public, anglers and waterway workers, to clarify the distribution of this species. The MBA plays a key role in maintaining the scheme and sharing sightings.
Wakame (Undaria pinnatifida) is a large species of seaweed originating from the Pacific. Wakame Watch has been established by the MBA with funding from Global Ocean in order to generate an up-to-date picture of the distribution of the species, by encouraging recording of sightings from the public, in particular, we are asking divers, snorkelers, recreational boat users, fishermen and environmental surveyors to let us know when they encounter the species.
RISC (Recording Invasive Species Counts)
The Recording Invasive Species Counts (RISC) project is a way to find out more and to contribute to our understanding of the distribution and ecology of non-native species. It is co-ordinated by the NBN and BRC (part of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology), in partnership with recording schemes for the animals and plants. The project is funded by Defra. The MBA have contributed to the development of marine species recording pages and processes records recieved for:
- Carpet sea squirt (Didemnum vexillum)
- Wakame (Undaria pinnatifida)
- Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis)
'Alien Invaders' was a project developed by the MBA in partnership with Holbeton Primary School. It ran from 2007 - 2015 and protocols and identificatino resources are still available to anyone wishing to undertake surveys. Surveys involved school groups undertaking timed searches for a group of specially selected non-native species and generated records, which were used in peer reviewed accademic publications. The project was develop by and for primary school children, but the resources and protocols have been utilised by groups of all ages and abilities to great effect. For more information contact Jack Sewell