Seagrass Ecology & Monitoring

Seagrass meadows form part of a vital coastal ecosystem that not only act as erosion controls but help regulate the flow of nutrients and sedimentation onto coral reefs. They provide habitats and nurseries for many marine organisms and form some of the worlds most important carbon sinks. They are extremely important food sources acting a productive pastures of the sea, forming the foundations for many herbivorous and detritivorous food chains. Some animals such as dugongs and green sea turtles feed almost exclusively on seagrass. However, seagrass meadows are declining at an alarming rate, with global estimates observing loss of about 30% since the 1980s. More needs to be done to protect these ecosystems and so this course has been designed to make people better informed about the anthropogenic threats they face and to produce research outputs to help progress our understanding and increase our conservation efforts.


  • Be certified as an Advanced diver under a leading diving organization (PADI, SSI, RAID, etc) or an Open Water diver who has satisfactorily completed a buoyancy appraisal with a professional dive.
  • Demonstrate proper diving ability at an advanced Level and be proficient in buoyancy and self-awareness.


  • Understand the difference between terrestrial plants and seagrass
  • Be familiar with the anatomy and morphology of different types of seagrass in particular, the diagnostic features used in identification
  • Understand the importance of seagrass and the current threats it is facing
  • Understand the taxonomic system and organization for classifying marine plants and micro-organisms
  • Learn the techniques required to monitor and record data on seagrass abundance, coverage and biodiversity
  • Learn the names of families and genera


  • Attend the practical session to understand the monitoring techniques used to survey seagrass
  • Practice identifying seagrass on land using photo analysis and/or specimens
  • Perform 2 survey dives to analyse seagrass coverage and density using different methodologies
  • Be able to accurately identify at least 5 of the most common seagrass genera to the region
  • Complete e-Learning

Minimum course time is about 6 hours

Certification Card

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