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Juneathon Day 8/9 – Territorial fish diving survey

June 9, 2013

I’ve just got back from 2 brilliant days diving and am now totally exhausted!

Six member of our dive club have spent the weekend doing a Seasearch Territorial fish survey off the coast of Pembrokeshire around the Skomer Marine reserve.  The aim was to collect fish data to illustrate the impact of creating reserves on different types of marine life.  Over the years we’ve done surveys of Sea Urchins, Scallops, Eel Grass and now territorial fish.

Its hard work but bloody good fun.  The path and Martins Haven down to the (pebble) beach is incredibly steep and you have to haul your kit into chest deep water to load it onto boats to take you to the sites.  So, basically you are shattered before you start.

After last weekend in Plymouth we were a little concerned that the visibility would be poor, and to be honest it was, bit nowhere near as bad as it had been.  So, with water temps of 11C and visibility of 5m we dived 2 sites each day.  Each time you follow the shot to the bottom (about 15m) and then one pair turns east and the other turns west.  You reel out a tape measure for 50m, noting how many of specific fish species you see along the way.  At the end of the tape, you turn round and reel back to the start.  Finally you swim towards the coastline and repeat this process when you get to a depth 5m shallower than the first transect.  Sounds deceptively simple, but its amazing how complicated people can make this method, particularly if you cant read a compass 🙂

The fish we were looking for were Goldsinny, Cuckoo Wrasse, Ballan Wrasse, Corkwing Wrasse, Tompot Blennies, Leopard Gobies, Butterfish, and a few more I cant remember.

Once you’ve done the survey you can swim around a bit and look for other stuff.  We found several dogfish, Craig had to rescue two that had were attached to each other with anglers hooks.  I spotted at least 4 different species of nudibranchs.  Everywhere there were Spider Crabs, some over 18ins across.  They can be a bit lairy, but for the most part leave you alone.  Although, that said one fell on my head and made me scream like a girlie!

So after 2 days I’ve clocked up another 190 mins underwater and had a good workout carrying my very heavy kit up extremely steep slopes. I’m shattered now, but hope to recover enough for Pilates tomorrow 🙂

Juneathon totals;

  • Scuba diving – 357 mins
  • Pilates – 60 mins
  • Gym – 45 mins
  • Body Jam – 50 mins
  • Walking – 2 miles

Some sort of tiny crab. If I’d paid more attention to my training I would know what this is *shuffles feet*

Spider Crabs - they were everywhere you looked.

Spider Crabs – they were everywhere you looked.


Just another beautiful day around Skomer with Puffins, Razorbills and Seals for company

5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2013 12:10 pm

    Ooh looks like so much fun! 11 degrees sound pretty chilly though 😉 I tried to go swimming in our outdoor ponds the other day – all I could manage was a quick plunge and one measley lap 😉 I love swimming outdoors! Looks like you’re aceing the Juneathon!

    • June 10, 2013 7:04 pm

      eeek, now outdoor swimming is brave. I applaud you from the shore 🙂
      Hope you are also enjoying Juneathon

  2. June 10, 2013 10:05 pm


    • June 10, 2013 10:10 pm

      give it a month when the plankton has died down and it will be truly stunning out there!

      I’m in St Abbs next week, hopefully better pics to be had up there 🙂

      • June 10, 2013 10:13 pm

        honey, it’s WAAAAAAY better than the blue/green algae found in the sloppy lakes around here!!

        Whew, NOT pretty.

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