Seasearch NI is a project for volunteer scuba divers and snorkellers who have an interest in what they’re seeing under water, want to learn more and want to help protect the marine environment around the coasts of Britain and Ireland.
The main aim of Seasearch is to map the various types of seabed found in the near-shore zone around the whole of Britain and Ireland, using data gathered by volunteer divers and snorkellers.
Seasearchers are given training in describing seabed habitats and identifying species in order to supply information that feeds into a national database. This data helps us to establish sites which are richest for marine life, sites where there are problems and sites which need protection.
All Seasearch data can be viewed online on the NBN Atlas Northern Ireland.
The Seasearch Northern Ireland group organise a number of boat and shore dives throughout the year, but any dive (or snorkel) can be a Seasearch dive!
How to get involved
Seasearch is open to all divers and snorkellers who are interested in recording what they see underwater, want to learn more and want to help protect the local marine environment.
The first step is to take part in a 1-day Observer Course, which teaches you the basics for describing seabed habitats, identifying species and filling out a Seasearch Observer form. Once certified as a Seasearch Observer, you can submit a completed Observer form following any dive or snorkel.
Seasearch also organise boat and shore dives throughout the year. Shore dives are also open to snorkellers. In order to take part in a Seasearch dive, the minimum qualifications are BSAC/SSAC Sports Diver, PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, SAA Club Diver or CMAS 2 Star equivalent. Both divers AND snorkellers must have done at least 20 dives/snorkels, of which 10 should have been in temperate sea water. You will also need to have a diving/snorkelling medical certificate or a Sports Diver medical self-declaration. Divers must have 3rd party diving insurance. Preference for boat spaces are given to certified Seasearch divers, but non-Seasearch divers who are interested in getting involved, are very welcome to join!
If you are interested in getting involved with Seasearch Northern Ireland, or for more information, visit: www.seasearch.org.uk.
All Seasearch training courses and dives are included on the Dive NI Events page