Events at COAST in May

Sunday 5th and Monday 6th May 

Seagrass community film workshop

Are you interested in filming and photographing what you see above and below the water? Are you keen to learn how to edit content and contribute to a community film at the same time? Do you enjoy snorkelling and/or being by the sea? Want to do all this under the guidance of an award-winning wildlife cameraman?

If you answer “yes” to any of these, then COAST have an opportunity for you not to miss!
COAST are delighted to share the opportunity to participate in a community project, looking at seagrass meadows, where participants will generate visual content by snorkelling and being by the sea under direction from the experienced and award-winning Dr Richard Shucksmith – his work was recently shown on the BBC’s “Wild Shetland – Scotland’s Viking Frontier” and you can see more here:

A 2-day workshop will see participants learn what seagrass is, what is special about this marine habitat, and how to record sightings of it. Throughout the course Richard will share his expertise in the art of storytelling through underwater filming. Together, footage will be collected above and below the water and back at the Octopus Centre you will learn editing techniques and collectively produce a film. This film will be officially launched in August, and will be on display at the Octopus Centre and shared with other Coastal Communities to raise awareness of the importance of protecting seagrass meadows.

The course is just £25 per person (minimum age limit is 14yrs) on Sunday 5th and Monday 6th May, likely from 10:30-7pm on the first day and 1030 – mid-afternoon on the second (based around tides and flexible for weather!). There are still a couple of places left so if you are interested and would like to book or would like to be sent more information, please message us at:

Tuesday 7th May, 7pm, Octopus Centre

MPAs vs MCZs: Differences between Scottish and English marine protection explained

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Marine Protected Areas in Scotland, and Marine Conservation Zones in England? Does one provide better protection for animals and habitats? Does the other have stricter protection and management? Join us for an evening where these questions, and many more, will be answered by one of the UK’s leading experts on MPAs and their effectiveness.

Jean-Luc Solandt is Principal Specialist in MPAs for the renowned Marine Conservation Society (MCS). From conservation diving expeditions to campaigning for international protection for basking sharks and MPAs, Jean-Luc has helped change inshore fisheries management in MPAs, protecting against scallop dredging and beam trawling, whilst ensuring that communities support conservation measures that lead to genuine recovery of biodiversity.

As Principal Specialist in MPAs, he provides technical and policy advice on all matters to do with UK and overseas MPAs, including designation and management. Jean-Luc also conducts scientific surveys of sites and is involved with law associated with protection for sites.

Booking is required for this event due to limited spaces. Children under 14 do not require tickets.

This event is free of charge, however there is a suggested donation of £3 pp to be split evenly between COAST and MCS to support local and national marine conservation.

Friday 10th May, 7pm, Octopus Centre

Shetland – killer whales, seabirds and otters

Scotland’s North Atlantic islands are some of the remotest islands in Europe. Full of wildlife, beautiful clear seas that offer some of the most exciting and wildest diving in the UK. Come on an adventure to see and explore the Shetland Islands that are part of Scotland’s natural heritage. Dr Richard Shucksmith is an award-winning photographer and an ecologist who lives on the remote and wild islands of Shetland.

Booking is required for this event due to limited spaces. Children under 14 do not require tickets.

This event is free of charge, however there is a suggested donation of £3 pp to support COAST.

For more information about either of these events please contact Jenny on 

Underwater Shetland Gannets. All images by Dr Richard Shucksmith