Sealife Survey

Warming seas, non-native invaders and human activities are all affecting our marine environment. Records of marine life are needed to inform decision-makers, to track changes, to find out why things are changing and, let’s not forget, because recording is fun!

If you would like help identifying a species you can email pictures and questions to recording[--at--] or post them on the Sealife Survey Facebook page.

If you're a regular sealife spotter - or plan to become one - you can register for an account at the site here and we'll keep track of your sightings and photographs and keep your details to make it easier for you to send us sightings.

Latest News

  • Gulf Wedge Clam from the Gulf of Mexico!

    Are you interested in looking for non-native marine species?

    Then this species might just be the thing for you! The brackish water bivalve mollusc Gulf Wedge Clam (Rangia cuneata) is considered to native in Gulf of Mexico, where it lives in estuaries, lagoons and coastal lakes.

    It appears to prefer fine sand habitat, however in Europe they have been recorded mostly in silt, mud and clay. Specimens of the Gulf Wedge Clam were first found in August 2015 at Hubbert’s Bridge and Wyberton High Bridge (canals which drain into the Haven at Boston near The Wash, Lincolnshire UK).

    Identification Features (sourced from Willing, 2016):

    • Size (length): Adults up to 60mm
    • Outer Shell:
      • Thick, heavy, moderately tumid shell
      • Obliquely oval, umbos set off-centre & curl towards anterior end of shell
      • Relatively smooth, with regular growth lines on shell surface
      • Ligament not visible externally
      • Light brown to grey in colour
      • Dull matt, slightly rough periostracum
    • Inner shell:
      • White with glossy areas
      • Dark brown internal ligament in deep triangular pit
      • Lateral teeth show very fine serrations
      • Pallial sinus clearly seen as infolding line

    Please report any sightings of this species with a photograph if possible, location details, and any other details to -  Emma Holden, Environment Agency.

    For more information on the known UK population of the Gulf Wedge Clam please contact

    Thank you.

  • Look out for the Southern Hermit Crab

    Are you interested in looking for particularly rare, uncommon, or hard-to-find species?!

    Then this species might just be the thing for you! The southern hermit crab Clibanarius erythropus may be found in rock pools in Cornwall and South Devon. They are common in western France but rarely settle in the U.K. These small hermit crabs have been found recently at Marazion and Mousehole in Cornwall. The previous settlement occurred about 1959-60 at Mousehole, Marazion, Lizard Pont and on Church Reef, Wembury. Some also settled at Trevone on the north Cornish coast, and survived until wiped out by the Torrey Canyon oil-spill and cleanup in 1967. The populations on the south coast lasted until the 1980s.

    See for more information about the species. There are also some really nice photographs with distinguishing features on this website The similar looking but larger common hermit crab (Pagurus bernhardus) can be distinguished by their unequal claws. See

    Please report any sightings of this species with a photograph if possible.

    Thank you.

  • Look Out for Asian Shore Crabs!

    Asian Shore CrabOn 2nd May 2014 an Asian shore crab was spotted in Glamorgan, Wales. This is the first record from mainland Great Britain, and it has subsequently been found in Kent. Please report any sightings of this species: Asian shore crab reports, with a photograph if possible. More information on this species can be found on the Non native species secretariat.

  • New Sealife Survey Recording Site Launched

    Welcome to the new Sealife Survey website from the Marine Biological Association of the UK. We have made several changes to our marine wildlife recording scheme which will hopefully make it easier for you to submit sightings and keep track of the sightings that you send us. Once you register for an account, you'll be able to use the "Record a Sighting" form to quickly submit one or more sightings, including any photographs. You'll then be able to browse a searchable log of your sightings and a gallery of the photographs that you've submitted.

    Even more excitingly, we've joined up with the Biological Records Centre's iRecord scheme to ensure that your records are stored in a nationally standardised format, are instantly available for expert verification and will be combined with data from many other wildlife recording schemes to build a joined-up picture of the UK's biodiversity. You can be sure that when you submit a sighting to the Sealife Survey, you're part of a joined-up community that makes active use of your information.

    However, because we've moved to a completely new data warehouse, you'll need to register for a new account, even if you had a login for our previous MBA recording site. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause you, but we hope you'll find this site to be an improved experience and will make the little extra effort needed to re-register worthwhile.