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Stunning marinelife monitored in survey

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: October 05, 2012

  • SEA LIFE: Dahlia anemone. Matt Slater

  • blue ray limpet. Image: Matt Slater

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A "STUNNING" array of marine wildlife has been documented on Cornwall's rocky coastal outcrops, including at Fowey's Readymoney Cove.

Last week the Cornish Guardian reported on the thriving underwater wildlife in the Fowey harbour, and Cornwall Wildlife Trust's Your Shore team have been assessing the species found on the coastline.

The survey utilised an advanced recording method that allows data to be inputted into a national marine database.

The process will be repeated each year, and the information will provide a useful tool for monitoring the health of Cornish shores.

St Agnes, Polzeath, Looe and Helford were also visited on the four-day fact-finding mission.

Matt Slater, Your Shore Project Officer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust, said: "As well as enjoying spectacularly low tides we also had beautiful weather every day.

"It was a great opportunity to look closely at life on the shore and everyone involved enjoyed identifying a wealth of species, including many they hadn't seen before."

Notable finds in Fowey included miniature seahorse-like worm pipefish, giant volcano barnacles and a tiny, rarely seen sea cucumber.

Lisa Rennocks, Investigate Invasives project officer with Cornwall Wildlife Trust, said: "To date the shores we surveyed do not seem to be adversely affected by invasive species. However, there is concern that there are increasing numbers of species arriving in the UK and we feel that the situation needs to be monitored.

"Japanese seaweed is now common on all Cornish shores, having been introduced in the Fifties it has spread rapidly. Another species, harpoon weed, has reached many shores."

The Your Shore project works with Voluntary Marine Conservation Area groups to monitor conditions and enable accessibility to the rich and diverse marine life in Cornwall.

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