University of Exeter student society MarineWatch aims to celebrate and protect our local and amazing marine wildlife. Read on to find out from them what they have been up to in the past year: 

MarineWatch, the society for all things marine, had a great start to the 2022/23 year, from a night time rockpool causing a local sensation, to boat trips with large pods of dolphins, to marine talks with popcorn! These are some of our favourite moments from term one:

1. Freshers Week kicked off with a night time rockpool, with over 70 people showing up to find all the tiny squishy things and, with the help of some UV torches, some glowing things as well! There were even queries on a local Facebook group asking what all the people with torches were doing on Gylly Beach.

Night time rockpool on Gylly Beach

Snakelocks anemone ‘glowing’ under UV light

2. Other daytime rockpools, that we run regularly and are unrestricted in numbers, have found amazing creatures like a solar-powered sea slug, a cowrie and an orange clubbed sea slug.

Solar-Powered Sea Slug


Orange Clubbed Sea Slug

3. We did some Shore Watches, some teaming up with Ecosoc, Birdsoc, Falmouth Marine Conservation and ExeterMarine, to see seals, porpoises, dolphins, gannets, gulls and oystercatchers, often from stunning headlands.

Our shore watches from stunning headlands

An adult gannet spotted on a shorewatch
An oystercatcher spotted on a shorewatch

4. We are most known for our boat trips though. We added snorkelling trips for the first time this year, to get up close and intimate with wonderful animals like these female grey seals, but we’ve also seen pods of dolphins, porpoises and many birds on these boat trips as well.

Grey Seals

Common Dolphins

5. We also enjoy our socials, from beach BBQs on Gylly (back in the days of warmth outside), to pubs inside for our Midwinter Blues night.

Beach BBQ on Gylly

6. Finally we have also run several on-off events, like wildlife talks, MARINELife training weekends, crochet sessions and more.

Crochet marine life!

Thanks to everyone for taking part in these adventures so far, there is plenty more to come this year!

Author: MarineWatch Society

Want to join MarineWatch? Click here.