UK marine life unveiled in stunning Earth Day showcase

blue shark
Photo: John Bunker/MCS

The Marine Conservation Society is launching a vibrant photographic display for Earth Day 2024, showcasing the UK’s wide variety of marine life.

To commemorate Earth Day on 22 April this year, the Marine Conservation Society has created a collection of stunning ocean photographs from the charity’s supporting photographers, highlighting ‘Earth vs Plastic’ and the call to reduce plastic by 60 per cent. I guessed. Production by 2040.

Plastics currently make up at least 80 percent of all marine debris and pose a significant threat to the health and survival of marine life through ingestion, entanglement, and chemical poisoning.Marine Conservation Society’s recent Current state of our beaches Nine out of the top 10 items of rubbish found on UK beaches were plastic, according to the report.

“We can’t have a healthy planet without healthy oceans,” said Sandy Luk, CEO of the Marine Conservation Society. These amazing images show the beauty and wonder of the marine life in our oceans, while also serving as a stark reminder that these fragile ecosystems are in urgent need of protection and restoration. I’ll give it to you. ”

For those who want to support ocean cleanup and the continued assessment of UK waters, MCS is encouraging people, especially divers and snorkellers, to take part in the volunteer Seasearch programme. For more information please visit

Compass Jellyfish, Falmouth, by Michel Voss

Compass jellyfish photo
Photo: Michelle Voss/MCS

Michael: A compass jellyfish observed just below the water surface in Falmouth Bay. The compass jellyfish occurs in coastal waters across the British Isles and is commonly seen in Cornwall during the summer, along with the blue jellyfish, crystal jellyfish, moon jellyfish and sometimes the large tall jellyfish.

“This photo was taken while snorkeling in broad daylight, but the use of a small aperture and fast shutter speed makes the water appear black. The jellyfish is only a few centimeters from the camera housing and is illuminated by the flash. The “Snell’s Window” shows a bright sky, a phenomenon caused by the refraction of light entering the water.

Sea Anemone and Stubby Lobster, Lake Duich, by Dan Bolt

Sea anemones and stubby lobsters at Lake Duich
Photo: Dan Bolt/MCS

and: “No matter how much our marine life is abused, there is always a way to make the best out of a bad situation. Here, an old diver’s flashlight becomes a habitat for a variety of species and becomes part of the environment itself. Above the torch you can see a loch anemone, a few small stocky lobsters using it as shelter, and in the background sea urchins and sea cucumbers in this beautiful lake at Loch Duwich in western Scotland. It completes the coral reef landscape.”

Clingfish, Portland Harbor, by Georgie Bull

fish clinging to seaweed
Photo: Georgie Bull/MCS

Georgie: “This image was taken at the end of a dive in Portland Harbor. Just before exiting the water, I decided to check out the holdfasts (root-like structures) of wakame kelp attached to a pipe. I had heard rumors that whales lay their eggs in the delicate folds at the base of the handle, but I wasn’t lucky enough to see it for myself.

“To my delight, as I approached, two eyes stared back at me. This is the only photo I took of him before he retreated into the house. I love this photo.” Because it captures something special about how unique and charismatic the British little fish is, you just need to know where to look!#

Blue Shark, Penzance, by John Bunker

blue shark
Photo: John Bunker/MCS

“Perhaps one of the most spectacular summer visitors is the blue shark (Aracama glauca) are the dazzling animals encountered in our oceans. When exposed to sunlight, it glows in various shades of indigo, cobalt blue, and even bronze. Circulating on a clockwise migration route along the Gulf Stream, the most typical encounters in the UK are with young females, such as this curious specimen photographed off Penzance, Cornwall.

“This graceful creature was likely planning to fatten up over the summer by eating squid and mackerel before returning to the tropics. In fact, these fish are extensively pelagic, making them ideal for fishing activities. It is currently classified as “Near Threatened” on the Red List.

Northern Gannet, Hermanes National Nature Reserve, Shetland Islands, by Kevin Morgan
Photo: Kevin Morgan/MCS

Kevin: “Ganeets are the largest seabird in the North Atlantic, with approximately 60-70 per cent of the world’s population choosing to breed in the British Isles. They nest in areas with sufficient updrafts to help when taking off. The windy mountains and high cliffs of the Shetland Islands are ideal. There are numerous booby colonies around Britain and Ireland, most of which have been occupied for centuries.

Bass Rock is home to the world’s largest boreal booby colony, home to more than 150,000 birds. The colony featured in this image is located in Hermanes National Nature Reserve and is home to approximately 30,000 breeding pairs, providing a spectacular sight as the birds soar over the stormy waters below. ”

Skeleton Shrimp, Penwin Leaf, Cornwall, by Kirsty Andrews

skeleton shrimp
Photo: Kirsty Andrews/MCS

Kirsty: “This image of a skeleton shrimp, or caplerid, was taken at Penwyn Reef in Cornwall’s Manacles reef system. The colorful background is another animal, an orange bryozoan known as the ‘roscoral’. The bryozoan was home to hundreds of skeleton shrimp, all of which were only a few centimeters in size.

“The young climb over the bodies of the adults, and the males are significantly larger than the females. A macro lens separates one individual to show the elongated body that gives this animal its ‘skeletal’ name.” I had to get closer to do it. ”

The Seahorse, Silver Steps of Falmouth, by Shannon Moran

rabbit sitting on seaweed
Photo: Shannon Moran/MCS

Shannon: “In early spring, just before the algae blooms, the water in Cornwall turns an incredible turquoise color. We make the most of the ocean conditions, moving from water filled with green algae to clear blue in the background. 2023 was a bumper year for nudibranchs at this dive site, with the ocean floor completely covered with these large nudibranchs for several weeks in spring.

“This rabbit was particularly large, about 20cm long!” We started climbing up the kelp-covered reef and within a few minutes we were at the top of this golden kelp stalk, where we captured this image. ”

Bed of Horse Shells, Shetland Islands, by Billy Arthur

horse shell bed
Photo: Billy Arthur/MCS

Billy: “Home to large dahlia anemones, spider stars and juvenile scallops, this horse shell formation is located in a high tidal area off the east coast of the Shetland Islands. It is a bustling metropolis of marine life! Dense carpets of spider stars cover the mussel beds, and if you’re lucky, you might spot foraging flapper skates and catfish sharks among many other species. .

“Dive sites can only be reached during slow tides, as the current is too strong to swim at full speed. Diverse sites with hints of danger – nothing could be better!”

Tompot Blaney, Torquay, by Jacob Guy

Mr. Blaney
Photo: Jacob Guy/MCS

Jacob: “Tonpot Blennies are one of the most curious species to be found diving in the UK and a great photographic subject. Their amazing markings and large eyes make them one of the most curious species I have seen diving all over the world. This is my favorite species of fish to catch.

A few times I even had a confident blenny come between me and the camera and completely get in the way while I was photographing other subjects. At that moment, all I could do was smile. ”

Jellyfish by Lewis Jeffries

Jellyfish swimming just below the water surface on a summer evening
photograph: Lewis Jeffries/MCS
Check out Lewis Jeffries’ wonderful account of the legionary march in the Spring ’24 issue. diving

Lewis: “During the summer, jellyfish arrive in large numbers in the British Isles, and it is thought that they are attracted to the warm seas. This was a perfect summer night – clear, calm and with very little wind. As the sun was setting in the sky and the golden hour was shining, I spotted this individual swimming near the water’s surface, and the golden color of the jellyfish matched the color of the sky, making it a fun sight.

“When I lit the jellyfish with a flash, the dark background made them stand out and created a memorable image. I strive to capture common subjects in a beautiful way. We hope to showcase some of the wonders and inspire others to appreciate and care for our amazing wildlife.”

To find out more about the work of the Marine Conservation Society and to find out how you can get involved with the Seasearch project, please visit the charity’s website at You can also help protect Britain’s marine life by taking part in a beach clean, making a one-off donation or becoming a member.

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