Brighton Marina

Life in a Temperate Marina: Brighton Marina, UK

Short-snouted Seahorse holding on to a poor little Snake Pipefish

Short-snouted Seahorse holding on to a poor little Snake Pipefish

In March 1972 Brighton Corporation (now Brighton & Hove City Council) bought the foreshore at Black Rock (a Special Site of Scientific Interest) from the Crown Estate Commissioners and leased the land to the Brighton Marina Company for 125 years.

Construction of the marina began and was completed in 1978 being officially opened by the Queen on 31st May 1972. The Marina covers 51.4 hectares and consists of inner and out harbour developments which, since its completion, have undergone considerable further development; development continues. As part of Brighton & Hove the Marina falls into the Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere (area).

 

A number of studies on the marine life present have yielded a substantial range of species making it clear that marinas can be significant oases for life providing substrates, food and shelter for diverse organisms. The sheltered nature of the site mean that several fish use it as a nursery. One result of the discovery of the Marina’s rich biodiversity was its establishment as a Special Site of Nature Conservation Interest by B&H Council. Deeper water species can be found at shallow depths on the pontoons as these structures rise and fall with the tide keeping the attached animal turf permanently submerged. Details of the species present can be found here: marina.

Seahorses have been seen, but during a survey prior to the works carried out in 2013-2014 none were found. However, their apparent absence does not mean they are not present still as they are very elusive. The advent of cameras like the GoPro™ would now make surveying much easier without the need to use SCUBA which is not allowed. The seahorses appeared to occupy the top 0.6 m or so of the water column close to boats and the colonised pontoons.

Here are some of the wonders of this underwater world; mouse-over for details and click to enlarge:

web_mixed_with_candystipeflatworm

web_purplesponge_squirts

web_botryllus1-150x150

web_clavelina2-150x150

web_shanny2_prawns

web_purple_sponge

web_mixed2-150x150

web_oyster_and_other_life

web_ciona_etc

web_squirts_sponge_oyster

web_under_pontoon

web_metridium1

web_styela_other_squirts

web_seahorse2

web_seahorse_on_divetorch

web_shanny2_prawns

web_painted_goby1

web_life_on_rope2

web_growth-on-rope

web_worm_etc

web_metridium2

web_squirts_inc_botryllus

web_candystripe_flatworm_etc

web_IMG_1648-150x150

web_sagartiogetum4

web_clavelina1

web_suberites_metridium

web_ciona_intestinalis1

web_suberites1

web_under_pontoon2

web_seahorse_seaweed_pipefish

web_wrasse_underpontoon

web_metridium2

web_IMG_1648

web_sagartiogetum4

web_metridium1

web_suberites1

Gerald Legg August 2014

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Unless otherwise stated all images are Copyright of Gerald Legg, naturaimaging. If you would like to use any images, then high resolution ones can be obtained by contacting me.
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