UPY 2016 British Waters Macro - Highly Commended

Richard Shucksmith

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UPY 2016 British Waters Macro - Highly Commended
'Angel' - Richard Shucksmith

In the summer of 2015 Scottish Natural Heritage commissioned Heriot-Watt University's Scientific Dive Team to conduct site condition monitoring of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC'S) which included sea caves around Scotland's remotest islands, St Kilda and North Rona . I was asked to join the trip as one of two photographers. The 3-week trip took us from Orkney across the north coast of Scotland, out to the Hebrides and on to St. Kilda where this image was taken. Myself and my colleague, George Stoyle were swimming into an entrance of a sea cave to undertake photographic transects when I noticed several of these animals in the plankton. The impulse was to stop and photograph these wonderful creature but we had a job to do in the sea cave. After completing our tasks, we were making our way back out the cave and I was scanning the water column looking for this pteropod, known as a sea angel (Clione limacina) a pelagic sea slug. Right at the entrance I saw one in 5 meters of water, managed to take eight images before it was time to surface and be picked up by the boat.

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