Each spring, thousands of Super-Dads migrate across the sea to the Marine Protected Area off the coast of Worthing and Littlehampton in one of nature’s most spectacular events – the trouble is, almost no one knows about it.
All that is about to change, as the Marine Conservation Society will launch its Kingmere Marine Conservation Zone website on Valentine’s Day, urging people to fall in love with the Super-Dads of the sea.
To support the launch, a new interactive exhibition, Worthing’s Super-Dads of the Sea, opens at Colonnade House in Worthing tomorrow.
This will explore the underwater nursery run by a fatherly fish, the black sea bream, tell the story of the spectacular breeding migration to the Kingmere reef, show all the other amazing marine wildlife that lives there and reveal the people from the area who use and love the reef.
Alice Tebb, agents for change co-ordinator, said: “We are hoping that lots of local people will come along to the exhibition to learn about the amazing underwater landscape on their doorstep.
“The exhibition will show for the first time incredible photos and film from the 2018 black bream breeding season, images captured by a team of volunteer photographers who went out to explore the Kingmere reef during the spring and autumn of 2018.
“The website also introduces some of the local people who have a strong connection to the site, including fishermen, divers and anglers, and tells the story of why they treasure the precious Kingmere Marine Conservation Zone.”
Worthing’s Super-Dads of the Sea will be launched at 10am tomorrow and the Kingmere Marine Conservation Zone website www.kingmeremcz.uk will be launched on Thursday, at the exhibition.
Alice says the exhibition will immerse you in stunning images and film of the black bream dads, who build nests and guard the eggs, as well as Kingmere’s fragile chalk reefs, sharks, lobsters, crabs, Ross corals, multi-coloured sea slugs and a whole host of amazing marine life that live right on the doorstep.
There will be experts on hand to guide visitors through the reef and answer any questions, and there will be a craft corner for children of all ages to create a glorious model Kingmere reef during the exhibition.
The Kingmere MCZ lies four miles off the coast, south of the River Arun at Littlehampton and off Worthing Pier. It covers an area of 47km2 and hosts a rich abundance of marine habitats and wildlife in waters ranging from 6m to 19m deep. It is treasured by fishermen, anglers and divers, who regularly visit the site.
The exhibition, which will run until February 24 , is funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, as part of the Agents of Change project, an initiative led by the Marine Conservation Society, Fauna and Flora International and the New Economics Foundation. It is supported by Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, Sussex Wildlife Trust and Lafarge Tarmac.
The website has been created in partnership with the Angling Trust and funded by The Rampion Fund at the Sussex Community Foundation.
Colonnade House, at 47 Warwick Street, Worthing, is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.