A RARE sighting of skeleton shrimp and a large gathering of star fish are just some of the wildlife seen at Shoreham Port recently.
Assistant engineer Keith Wadey spotted a large number of caprellidae, known as skeleton shrimp, when he was diving by the Brighton Terminal.
He and his team of divers found a large number attached to their wet suits when they emerged from the water.
“In the 34 years I have worked at the port, this is the first time I have seen skeleton shrimp,” he added.
“The shrimps were not here this time last year, so we suspect eggs have been brought over by a foreign vessel.
“It was extremely exciting making this discovery and adding it to the diverse collection of wildlife at the port.”
James Gray, tug master and marine works supervisor, said there was a wide variety of species at the port, including limpets, sharks and muscles, as well as a variety of birds.
“I distinctly remember rescuing a dog fish from the bottom of the lock,” he added.
Star fish are becoming a more common sight at the port, according to 12-year-old wildlife enthusiast Elliott Hasler.
He is a keen visitor to the port and enjoys seeing wildlife in their natural habitat, in sometimes unusual and unsuspecting places.
Many people, for instance, have been surprised to notice a large number of star fish living at the bottom of the locks among other sea creatures, such as brown crabs, spider crabs, fountain urchins and weaver fish.
Elliott said: “I have seen star fish during low tide on triangular rocks on the east side of the Eastern Arm.
“There are many more this season, which is great to see. Star fish are quite funny to hold, they do not move and feel hard on top, yet soft underneath. They also have tiny legs.”
Shoreham Port welcomes photos of wildlife and unusual sightings there. Email Katie Orchin at firstname.lastname@example.org