To promote the need for Conservation strategies, in order to preserve the Islands importance as a unique and key Marine Environment. On a voluntary basis, the groups’ divers carry out the monitoring of underwater species and habitats, providing evidence in support of marine protection management.
Approved methods for recording Biotopes are applied, ensuring all evidence withstands detailed political scrutiny. Jersey Marine Conservation although a Volunteer group, collects and processes data to a high professional level, supplying records, including images and video to the National Biodiversity Network and Jersey Biodiversity Centres. Without our surveys, there would be negligible sub-tidal information and therefore little to challenge environmentally sensitive proposals. The groups work has been instrumental in the setting up of protection zones, sustainable fishing practises and halting the wholesale destruction of seabed communities. The UK Marine Conservation Society supports and oversees the groups operating framework and project implementation
Educating the community is a key public aim and the group continue to develop learning programmes for schools and community groups through the Butterfield Marine Watch. Our workshops and media resources are hoping the Islands population learn proactively about how to safeguard species in our marine waters. We believe Education rather than legislation is the way forward, in preserving the Islands future as a healthy place to live.
Our monitoring programme seeks to provide students of all ages, abilities and backgrounds with the knowledge and methods to identify and record indicators of migration, marine population changes and the impact of the diverse environmental effects.
Divers with PADI Advanced Open Water Qualification, BSAC or equivalent are needed to help with surveys. Once qualified in the Seasearch methods, investigations can be conducted independently (in accordance with HSE regulations) or as a team member. Here in Jersey, we carry out an Annual Reef Survey, visiting remote locations when conditions allow us the opportunity. These expeditions are often financially supported by local businesses, organisations and dedicated ecology funds.
Divers participating in the project may be given the opportunity to operate the group’s equipment and receive training in the use of cameras, communications and survey equipment.
Seasearch methods have been adopted in many parts of the world. For those interested in travelling and working in Marine Conservation or Environmental research the Seasearch programme provides an invaluable opportunity to gain the required experience.
We also help students with their marine related studies, including support for specialised surveys utilising underwater photography and monitoring systems.
We support with local sea swimming such as the Mermaids and water activity related groups in the removal of harmful rubbish from the Islands remote or inaccessible coves and reefs.
Divers taking part in survey dives must be self-reliant, current in diving, are advised to have medical insurance and will need their own equipment. This needs to be serviced and in good working order. A Computer and Surface marker boy must be carried at all times. A recording slate is required, diving computer, torch and ideally a reasonable camera.
Minimum age for volunteers unless part of an organised group is 18
“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds you in its net of wonder for ever”.Jacques-Yves Cousteau