A walk to the beach can turn up all sorts of treasures and beasties, and with the help of a new section of the NAFC’s Marine Centre website, folk will now be able to identify anything unusual that they find.
The Discovery Zone at the NAFC website, www.nafc.ac.uk/DiscoveryZone.aspx, aims to help fishermen and members of the public identify any creatures or related objects they find and includes a Google Map, which plots where species were found.
Google markers plot the location of each “find” on a map, and each one has a link to information about the species and photos of it.
Site visitors can also see information about the vessel or person which found the species and brought it to the centre for identification.
Some of the creatures already plotted on the site include a 92cm seven arm octopus, Haliphron atlanticus, found by fishing vessel the Arcturus, and a segment of basking shark vertebrae, found by the Copious in St Magnus Bay.
NAFC Marine Centre shellfish scientist Dr Richard Shelmerdine has been co-ordinating the new addition to the website. “Fishermen and members of the public often drop along with a find they have discovered in their nets, or while walking along the shore, and we’re more than happy to try to identify the species.
“I think this new section on the website will prove a great point of interest and people will find it fascinating to see the wealth of sea life that often goes unnoticed around our shores.
“Clearly the more data we can add to the site the more valuable it will become and we look forward to building on this educational resource in the future.”