Life on the Accropodes!

Members of the YNU’s affiliated society Seasearch carried out survey dives on Scarborough’s coastal defences on Saturday 1st September.  The coastal defences consist of rock revetment and pre-cast concrete Accropodes installed between 2002 and 2005.  Since their installation, the subtidal sections of the defences have become richly covered in seaweeds, sponges, bryozoans and hydroids, providing habitat for a variety of mobile creatures such as fishes, prawns and crabs.  Seasearch divers recorded 37 species, including the seaweeds Dilsea carnosa, Dictyota dichotoma and Delesseria sanguinea, sea slugs Goniodoris nodosa and Jorunna tomentosa, as well as common lobsters, velvet swimming crabs, common starfish, long-spined sea scorpions, dragonets and butterfish.

Left to right: The sea slug Jorunna tomentosa, a butterfish Pholis gunnellus and a dragonet Callionymus lyra.

The dives were carried out with Scarborough Sub Aqua Club and marked the successful completion of their Real Reefs Project, which surveyed the wildlife and habitats on 20 reefs between Flamborough and Whitby this summer with funding from BSAC and Sport England.