The South West Marine Ecosystem Conferences

Russell Wynn set up the annual SWME conferences in 2007 to ensure that results of the five-year SeaWatch South West project were put in the context of the wider marine conservation and ecology community in the southwest region; the first meetings were held at the Marine Biological Association.

Bob Earll took over in 2013 and in 2014 SWME moved to the larger rooms at PML enabling 150+ delegates to attend; during this period the annual reports and the website was set up.

Natasha Bradshaw became involved in SWME17 with the move to Plymouth University for more attendance capacity and networking space.

The Southwest Marine Ecosystem conferences take place in the Spring of each year in Plymouth. The Objectives of the SWME conferences developed by the delegates are:

1. Networking – To provide a networking opportunity for a wide cross section of people to meet, exchange views and build networks on south-west marine ecosystems; this includes active support for volunteer observations and schemes (citizen science), marine science and research interests, managers and a range of sea users including nature conservation, fishing, tourism etc.

2. To assess the annual events – ecological and oceanographic – of the previous year that have affected the south west marine ecosystems – making the linkages between environmental and biological phenomena e.g. sea surface temperatures on plankton or mackerel and cetaceans. We will be asking delegates to contribute their observations on 2015.

3. Ecology of marine species – To explore research studies that throw particular light on aspects of ecology of marine species, planktonic, benthic and ‘mobile’ species (fish, birds, mammals, turtles)  and the ecosystem that supports them and to understand the status of populations of marine species in the south west and how they are responding to environmental and anthropogenic pressures.

4. Management and southwest marine ecosystems – To understand the linkages between science and the influence of managing human activities on the marine environment – with a view to supporting and promoting the health of southwest marine ecosystems.

Thanks to Keith Hiscock and Tony Taylor for the images.



  • Attendance at the event exceeds 150+ delegates from 75+ organisations and this offers unparalleled networking opportunities.
  • Delegates are emailed the attendance list with emails 3 days before the event.

Social Media

  • Join the discussion online by using the hashtag #SWME17

To be put on the contact list email: bob.earll@coastms.co.uk

Book Here

Booking is available in October.


Please contact Bob Earll for details on 07930 535283 or bob.earll@coastms.co.uk

Observations, Recording Schemes & Annual Reports