British Marine Life Study Society

SHOREWATCH PROJECT
Guidance


Shore Watch is a scheme started on a trial basis in January 1995 under the current title. It was operated without a title from about 1986. The title was chosen by John Dawes and Andy Horton.

The object of the scheme is to record wildlife on the seashore around the British Isles. The results will be published in the marine wildlife journal Glaucus and in computer database accessible by contributors and the public for a nominal charge.


SHOREWATCH PROJECT

The British Marine Life Study Society are interested in reports of marine life in the seas and on the shore from around the British Isles.

Report Cards are available on the BMLSS (England) web site. They can be completed in ink, or best by using Netscape Composer or another HTML authoring package.

Guidelines are available.  Please do not guess the information, it is better to leave the entry on the form blank.

Further information is available on the web site:

watch2.htm
 

Report Forms were first printed for general use by rockpoolers in 1993 (Glaucus Summer 1993). The idea is to give some idea of the information required for articles in BMLSS publications and for accurate biological recording. It is important not to guess any of the information: it is better to leave the spaces blank.

Over the years the forms have undergone tests of their suitability. The basic information required remains satisfactory even with the biological recording initiatives planned for the 21st century.

Looking back on a few old records it is frustrating when a species is described as 'common', or even more infuriating by 'not uncommon'. This is always a subjective assessment and unless numbers are given or a common standard is adopted the assessment of the abundance of a species is rather vague, and may not be useful  at a later date. For articles in BMLSS publications, we like to use the ACFOR system. However, a new more detailed ACFOR system has been developed which may be used from year 2000 onwards.


NOTES ON RECORDING GRID REFERENCES:

Original system replaced by Magic Maps


Shorewatch Biological Recording.

If the British government was really serious about the environment they would fund a system of biological recording, with the records accessible to the public.

If subscribers to this forum wish to report interesting discoveries between the tides, they can load the information up directly onto the New Millennium Shorewatch Project on the Smart Groups British Marine Wildlife database.

For this you need to log on to the Smart Groups registration area and become a full member to go to:

British Marine Wildlife Forum (commenced 1 August 2000)
Group Home:  http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/Glaucus

The menu is horizontal at about eye level across the page. Click on database and then look for Shorewatch Biological Recording. The records can then be added.

The information required is:
Common Name (optional)
Scientific Name
Location (Grid ref would be nice)
Date
Recorder (Name)
EMail

When the records are read they may look better at 1024 x 768 resolution instead of my normal 800 x 600 (Adjust Display Properties under Windows). A single record has already been entered.

If you have got a lot of records, too many to be entered on-line, there are alternative ways of storing this information electronically. Please enquire. The same applies to records pre-2000.

If the record is particularly interesting, enquirers may ask for more information.

I am still waiting for Recorder 2000 to see how this fits in with recording on the shore zone. I have NOT prepared a similar system for sublittoral (undersea, below low tide) recording, as this is the prerogative of Seasearch, and any foreign initiatives.

Cheers

Andy Horton.
 
 


STANDARD ACFOR SYSTEM

SUPERABUNDANT = 10,000 +
ABUNDANT 1000- 10,000
COMMON 100-1000
FREQUENT 10 - 50
OCCASIONAL 2-10
RARE = ONLY 1


NEW ACFOR SYSTEM OF ABUNDANCE OVER A SPECIFIED AREA (OF SHORE)

SUPERABUNDANT = 10,000 +
ABUNDANT 1000- 10,000
VERY COMMON = 500-1000
COMMON 100-500
VERY FREQUENT = 50-100
FREQUENT 10 - 50
OCCASIONAL 2-10
RARE = ONLY 1

Very Rare   1-5 records in total since 2000
Rare   less than one every year
Very Scarce 2 or 3 per year
Scarce 1-10 per year
 
 

There is an overlap because if writers are using the old standard system, confusion could occur.


Cheers

Andy Horton.
 

Report Forms 1998
Shorewatch Project
Rockpooling
Seashore
Coastal Code
Behaviour and Conservation

Problems:

Identifying species correctly.
This should be overcome by the new Collin's Guide to the Seashore, although there will always be tricky identifications of species that are similar in appearance to each other (e.g. sea anemones, spider crabs, gobies).
  

          Andy Horton
Editor of Glaucus.
EMail Glaucus@hotmail.com

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BMLSS (England)  BMLSS (Facebook) Shorewatch Newsletter

Proceedings of the marine species recording workshop
29 & 30 January 1998

Supplement
Current marine species record collections in the UK and suggestions for links to future national schemes.
Compiled by Keith Hiscock

Recorder 2000 Tour