Marine Ecology

All courses are aimed at people with a non scientific background. We aim to provide an easy to follow course structure using specially devised materials and visual aids where appropriate. In some instances it may be necessary to collect materials from the shore/ocean for further work back at the centre. For divers following any of the courses, as much as is practical, dives will be used to reinforce or practise learnt skills.

Given the limited time and space available, the descriptions below are only a guide to areas covered. As far as possible the course content may be adapted to your own areas of interest.

How many species of wrasse are there? It seems listening to some divers that this is the only species ever encountered while diving. Why not learn a little bit about how to identify the common fish species seen in our waters? How do fish reproduce? How and what do the fish we see eat? Basic fish ecology.

The Plankton
What is plankton? Why should we care anyway - since you cannot see it without a microscope? Poor visibility in the late spring/early summer – the seasons in the oceans! An introduction to food webs – how do microscopic animals/plants feed some of the biggest animals to ever inhabit the worlds oceans?

Marine Mammals
Seals - what species are encountered? How do we tell them apart? Their ecology- reproduction, feeding - are they really to blame for decreasing catches of fish? Why are seal pups white?

Cetaceans-commonly encountered species. A look at there life history and ecology. If our luck is in we should get to see a couple of species.

How can they exist in two worlds - one underwater one on land? The different types of seaweed and there position on the shore what determines this? The plants or the ones that we can easily identify face a variety of interesting problems in their lives. Why do we mostly see the kelps at depth? How do these marine plants reproduce?

Conservation issues for our underwater world
Really there are thousands of issues that threaten the planets' oceans - if you have a particular interest let us know and we'll design a workshop for you before you arrive.

Cheap salmon-aquaculture-who needs it?

Our love affair with fish in batter, is it really worth it?

Climate change – how is it likely to affect our marine environment?

Positive change - our role in changing the future.

Persistent pollutants in the marine environment and how they affect the oceans inhabitants