We’re delighted to be sharing with you this month an exciting new video series that takes you beneath the waves off the Welsh coast.
Here’s an introduction from Jake Davies:
Wales Best of the West (Cymru Gorau’r Gorllewin) is a bilingual online series that takes viewers on a journey from North to South Wales to discover four favourite shore dives.
The series provides viewers with the sense of being underwater to explore the diverse range of marine life and habitats found along the Welsh coast. As part of the online series we ensured that most of the content was captured below the waves with the majority being presented underwater amongst the habitats and with the marine life.
Sites were chosen by their natural importance, personal significance and importantly accessibility to provide the viewers with the details to explore the site themselves. To expand on the adventure, sites were also dived at night to reveal the changes in the communities and bringing in some exciting techniques to provide a new prospective on sites such as seagrass.
Through filming the series we captured footage of a diverse range of marine life that’s found off the coast with many species that aren’t seen often such as the Anglerfish. The time to organise, film, dive and develop the series in the edit room was driven by the passion of the team to showcase the habitats and marine life found below the Welsh coast. Showing it’s not always cold, dark and gloomy but quite the opposite. We believe that we are fortunate to head below the waves but many aren’t. Therefore, by revealing this through the Wales Best of the West series and bringing in details of species, habitats and issues that does face the marine environment is important. With the overall aim of onnecting people with their local coastline.
The sites we explore as part of the series are:
- Episode 1 – Porth Ysgaden
- Episode 2 – Porthdinllaen
- Episode 3 – Martins Haven
- Episode 4 – Stackpole
Wales Best of the West is a series from Dan Dŵr Cymru – a Welsh based independent natural history production company, specialising in underwater natural history, maritime history and storytelling with extensive local knowledge of filming marine life and scuba diving off the Welsh coast. Scubaverse contributor Jake Davies is one of the team that also includes Lloyd Jones and Ollie Putnam.
Huge thanks to Dan Dŵr Cymru for letting us share this trailer and the complete series. We will be sharing one episode each week during the month of February 2022.
You can find out more about Dan Dŵr Cymru (Under Water Wales) at https://dandwrcymru.wordpress.com.
Minke whale spotted off Cardigan Bay – A first in 10 years!
In a thrilling encounter that left a team of marine researchers in awe, a majestic minke whale was sighted during a line transect survey on June 15, 2023. The remarkable event took place approximately 10 nautical miles off the coast of Cardigan Bay, amidst an area teeming with shearwaters. The whale’s behavior, as observed by Katrin Lohrengel, Sea Watch’s Monitoring Officer, indicated potential foraging activities, as it gracefully engaged in deep dives.
This exceptional sighting is the first documented instance of a minke whale in the Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC) since 2013, during one of Sea Watch Foundation’s line transect surveys. The significance of this encounter cannot be overstated, as it underscores the importance of continuous scientific efforts in studying and conserving the abundant marine biodiversity of this region. Notably, this is the first minke whale sighting in a decade within the Cardigan SAC, with sightings being more prevalent further down in Pembrokeshire. Additionally, another minke whale was sighted the following day, June 16, 2023, 11 nautical miles off the Llyn Peninsula during a separate survey conducted by Professor Peter GH Evans, Director of the Sea Watch Foundation.
Line-transect surveys play a pivotal role in Sea Watch’s research, providing invaluable data on the presence, abundance, and distribution of marine species in their natural habitats. The sighting of a minke whale further emphasizes the ecological significance of the Cardigan Bay SAC, highlighting the urgent need for sustained conservation efforts to safeguard this vital marine environment.
Renowned for their agility and inquisitive nature, minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) captivate with their smaller size compared to other baleen whales. These graceful creatures embark on deep dives, skillfully hunting for their preferred prey, including fish and krill.
The sighting of the minke whale stands as a testament to the effectiveness of the team’s research methodologies and their unwavering dedication. Moreover, it serves as a beacon of hope for future discoveries that can contribute to the ongoing conservation endeavors in the Cardigan Bay SAC.
As Sea Watch celebrate this momentous milestone, they reaffirm their commitment to expanding our understanding of marine ecosystems and advocating for the protection of vulnerable species. The team extends our heartfelt gratitude to the local community, volunteers, and stakeholders whose unwavering support has made sightings like this possible.
About Sea Watch:
Sea Watch is a leading marine research organization dedicated to the study and conservation of marine mammals in the United Kingdom. Through scientific research, education, and advocacy, Sea Watch strives to protect and preserve our marine ecosystems for future generations.
For more information, please visit www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk.
Pictured: Minke whale sighting off Cardigan Bay by Katrin Lohrengel/Monitoring Officer at Sea Watch Foundation on 15 June 2023.
New year, new dive centre: Duttons to open on Anglesey in January 2023
Duttons Divers, who have recently announced a new hard boat to join their growing fleet over on the Llyn Peninsula based at Hafan Marina Dive Centre and a second dive centre that opened in January this year, have another big announcement to end the year on!
It seems that there’s just no stopping the Duttons Divers team as they announce their third dive centre opening – this time on Anglesey!
The dive centre will be open from January 2023, and is based just off the A55 at Llangefni Services, offering ease of access from all over the island and to those visiting for the day who will be passing by on their way to dive.
The centre will offer a fully stocked shop with all major brands, as well as a classroom and meeting place for teaching and briefings for the day’s guided dives around the island, equipment servicing and air fills – perfectly located to get your fills on your way too or from sites all over the island.
Owner Clare Dutton says: “We are extremely excited to announce the new centre. We have looked at Anglesey for a while, but the perfect place just did not come up until now. We wanted somewhere central that has easy access for divers to visit.”
If you would like to find out more about the new site, go to their website www.duttonsdivers.com