Last weekend I joined Seasearch at Port Mulgrave, helping them to do a shoreline survey. Seasearch (seasearch.org.uk) aim to gather records of seabed habitats and wildlife by involving recreational divers and training them to survey while they dive.
Of course, they also survey the rockpools on the shoreline as half the time this is also under water. The weather was pretty dismal but we persevered until most of us couldn’t feel our hands anymore!
We were recording everything that we found, which at Port Mulgrave isn’t as big a list as you might imagine. The area is quite silty but we still managed to find limpets, chitons and whelks, alongside barnacles and anemones. We did find numerous shore crab too, including the one pictured below carrying eggs. This is called ‘in berry’. The eggs start off orange and get darker as they mature. You can find female crabs like this at any time of year but eggs are mainly released during the Spring.
I also learnt how to distinguish between some common shallow water seaweeds by their reproductive parts. Not everyones cup of tea, but I enjoyed it!
Kate is a Ranger - North Yorkshire Moors, Coast & Durham properties
Republished by kind permission from the A Day in the Life of a Ranger blog (http://dayinthelifeofaranger.wordpress.com/)