Seasearch training

Diving Ireland Seasearch

All the options

Observer course

Surveyor course

Adopt a Site workshop

Specialist workshop


Seasearch training aims to train either individual recording ability (Observer-Surveyor) or species identification skills (Adopt a Site or Specialist), though obviously there is a large degree of overlap between the two.

Adopt a Site workshop

The National Marine Monitoring Scheme is designed to train divers to record systematically and repeatedly at a single or multiple sites to gather species information on that site. Training involves learning to identify the ~100 common species that are recorded as part of the scheme but does not look at underwater habitats, environmental conditions or biotope types. It is intended as an introduction to recording or to be done on a group basis to encourage a club or dive group to focus more on the biodiversity in their local area. Individuals who then want to further their recording skills would be encouraged to complete the Observer course.

Training consists of a single day classroom session followed by a dive and form filling. Training can be organised at any time of year, subject to availability of tutors, at the request of clubs or dive groups and is held locally. The course costs €45 to cover the costs of training materials and includes a copy of the The Diver’s Guide to the Marine Life of Britain and Ireland to help you started on your identification skills.

Email if you’re interested in organising Adopt a Site training for your club or local dive group.

Seasearch Observer

The first step in any budding recorders journey on the road to the fame and respect of your peers that the Seasearch Surveyor moniker brings. This is a one-day course aimed at giving divers new to the project and new to marine recording a basic grounding. At the end of the course you should be able to complete the Seasearch Observation Form and take part in Seasearch dives either on your own, with your club or on dives organised by Seasearch partners.

The Observation form is a relatively simple form once you’re familiar with it and can be filled out on any dive with practice. Records gathered at Observer level are particularly valuable in Ireland due to the gaps in the distribution records of even extremely common species and recording new species can bring an added zest to your diving experience.

If you’re interested attending an Observer course check out the dates on our calendar below or email if you’d like to arrange an Observer course to be held in your area.

Seasearch Surveyor

The big step up in Seasearch training the Surveyor Course is aimed at experienced Seasearch Observers and others with a good background knowledge of marine life and marine recording and is considerably more indepth than the Observer course. The aim is to enable you to complete the Seasearch Survey Form which is used on most of the expeditionary Seasearch dives and which gives much more detailed information for future conservation purposes.

The course lasts two days and includes a dive on the second day. The Course concentrates on identifying and classifying marine habitats, and on the priority species and habitats used to identify marine protected areas. Again we use video on the first day and you fill in practice forms both from the video and from the dive itself. The course is assessed and successful participants can carry on and become Seasearch Surveyors after completing a further five forms and an ID test.

Seasearch Surveyor courses are organised on a 2-3 year cycle to ensure there is sufficient numbers to enable good peer support through the Surveyor qualifying process. While it is unlikely a course will be offered in Ireland in 2019 UK courses are run on a more regularly basis and can be found here. To register an interest in the Surveyor course email

Specialist workshops

In addition to the Observer or Surveyor Courses we arrange special interest courses including general marine life identification as well as courses in things like fishes, seaweeds, anemones/corals and sea slugs. These are organised on an annual basis and typically cost €50.


Starting in 2019 we will be running dedicated recording surveys at various locations around the country focusing on specific species, sites or groups. These will be run in tandem with other courses and are aimed at existing Seasearchers or those who’d like to start and aim to create a more peer based learning experience where divers can swap experience and recording tips in a more informal environment.

Seasearch calendar 2019