We are in the process of making a film about the underwater forest that surrounds
our coasts. We follow the Victorian ladies as they lead the way in identifying the
thousand of seaweeds in our seas.
In the small bay of Babbacombe in Devon, there is an animal that comes into the bay in the early summer months to breed. We are talking about the common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis). These beautiful animals have probably been coming bays like Babbacombe for thousands of years.In just six meters of water you can see the large males going through their fantastic courtship displays to woo the females.
This a short insight into the natural history of these fascinating animals. But all isn’t well in these small bays, over the last few years there has been a rise of the pot fishermen who have refined their techniques to such an extent that the breeding population could be wiped out within years. These fisherman are operating totally within the law. as yet there is no E.U. management plan for these beautiful inshore animals.
The cuttlefish is just one of the animals in the class of cephalopods, which is p[art of the large mollusc phylum, the class has been around since the Cambrian period, more than 500 million years ago. The class also includes the octopus,squids and the nautilus. the abundance and number of these fossil species makes the cephalopods an extremely important group of fossils.