Marine Life Talk at NOC in Southampton

The undulate ray project

The Undulate Ray Project

This presentation describes how scuba divers have been monitoring rays, predominantly undulate rays (Raja undulata), at a particular Dorset site for the last four years. They have developed a technique that allows them to recognise individual rays from diver photographs. This technique is then used as a non-intrusive alternative to conventional tagging. All ray sightings on the site and associated photographs are recorded in a database for later analysis. Using these methods and accumulated data they can study site fidelity for a localised point. The data clearly shows that individual rays return ‘home’ even after prolonged periods. In 2017 the aim is to widen the study by utilising citizen science. Using the internet and social media to reach out to other divers, anglers and fishermen to establish where the rays travel to when not at ‘home’.


Martin and Sheilah Openshaw have been diving the Dorset coast for over 20 years. Initially from professional backgrounds in engineering, sales and marketing they have built up a knowledge of the marine environment as volunteers on various and diverse underwater projects. Currently most of their time is consumed by The Undulate Ray Project and The Black Bream Project which are managed by themselves with their friend and colleague Dr Matt Doggett.

Please note: this talk was postponed from it’s previously scheduled date of 6 April 2017


Visiting the NOC: As the NOC is located within the Port of Southampton and entry is via Dock Gate 4 Port Security require all visitors bring along with them their confirmation ticket and a valid form of photographic ID (Driving License / Passport). The Port of Southampton is the Strategic Authority for the implementation of security within the port area where the NOC is located.

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Parking at NOC

There are a number of designated visitor parking spaces available at NOC. If these are full after 5pm please drive to the staff car parks barriers, access can be given by pressing the intercom button in the box next to the barrier, on requesting entry you will be asked for Name and Car Registration number and the barrier will be lifted.

Please do not park in areas not designated for parking and ensure roadways are kept clear.

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Marine Life Talks

These talks are held on the first Thursday of each month at 7pm in the Henry Charnock Lecture Theatre, National Oceanography Centre. Please sign in outside the lecture theatre on level four.

All talks are free and open to members of the public.

Next Month’s Talk

6 July 2017 – Title to be confirmed

Event dates: 
Thursday 1 June 2017 - 19:00 to 21:00