Sheephaven divers were in the water last weekend with a dive on Sunday morning from Downings to the nearby Werrymen Rocks.
The weather had turned back into the North, pushing an Atlantic swell down the bay and reducing the in-water visibility as a result, while also affecting water temperature, now down to 11 degrees
A combination of the stirred up seabed and run-off from the recent heavy rain has produced a green colour in the upper reaches of the water column, but deeper at 16 metres visibility improved
Lynne Weir led the boat dive, which was conducted in two sticks with a maximum of 40 minutes surface to surface being recorded by the divers.
Marine life observed during the dive included Lobsters, Shrimp and Sand Eels, with a rare sighting of a Top Knot, a flat fish which is very well camouflaged with its rocky surroundings.
All this marine life is dependent on the winter storms to stir up the essential nutrients from the seabed that the Plankton and all that are sustained by them require, without the storms these essential nutrients will not be available for the next years growth.
Marine life identification and recording has been a hallmark of divers affiliated to the Irish Underwater Council over the last number of years, with the results uploaded on the Seasearch website.
This information has proven to be an integral part of ‘ground-truthing’ the theoretical marine biodiversity around the Irish coast and has been an excellent example of Citizen Science at work in Ireland.
While the Marine Institute is charged with the responsibility of mapping the extent and range of marine life in Ireland, two economic targets have been articulated in the recently published Irish strategy document ‘Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth’.Tags: