SEACAMS Boat Owners Workshop, April 2011
Friday 8th April, 2011 was the date of the first SEACAMS Boat Owners workshop to be held at Swansea University.
The aim of the workshop was to give boat owners the opportunity to learn about the principles and practices of environmental surveys. By conveying how boat owners can make use of their vessels for environmental survey work and how best to market their services, SEACAMS hopes to aid these local businesses to gain access to potential work available.
The day was comprised of a series of talks from guest speakers as well as SEACAMS staff members. The workshop began with an introduction given by Nicole Esteban, Project Manager for SEACAMS at Swansea University, followed by Dr Ian Horsfall, who is part of the SEACAMS and Low Carbon Research Institute (LCRI) teams at Swansea University. Having been involved in environmental survey work for over 20 years, Dr Horsfall spoke about the different types of surveys that he has worked on and projects that are being carried out at present.
Chris Corcoran, a Marine Surveyor for the MCA Small Commercial Vessel Code, spoke to the group about potential benefits for small commercial boat owners and addressed the legal requirements for commercial operations.
Next to speak was another valued member of the SEACAMS team, Keith Naylor, who has been a skipper of Swansea University’s research vessels since 1985. Keith spoke of the surveys that are carried out for the University and for charter work with a number of clients such as marine consultancy firms.
The last guest speaker to talk to the group was Richard Perry, a business advisor from Venture Wales, who discussed ways of getting established in the market place and how to promote one’s business.
Following lunch, the participants of the workshop were taken to Swansea marina for a demonstration on the RV Noctiluca, the research boat for Swansea University. A tour was given in order to point out any specific modifications the vessel has for the type of work it is used for.
Once the boat was taken out into Swansea Bay, a mock survey was conducted, including a beam trawl and a long arm Van Veen grab to highlight examples of equipment that may be needed for ecological survey including methods of deployment and retrieval of the sample. The catch proved to be of some interest.
The day proved a big success with five enterprises being assisted by SEACAMS. It could only have been enhanced by the stunning weather conditions and the sighting of harbour porpoises in the Bay. Dan Worth of Razorbill RIB Charter and Marine services said, ‘It was a very useful, informative and enjoyable day covering a variety of topics to improve our understanding of environmental monitoring techniques, the opportunities which exist, as well as how we might best market and deliver our services to meet those needs’.