The Sea and Me!

Marine Memories © Peter Williams

Have you got a great story about our seas and their wonderful wildlife?

As part of our Living Seas Wales Project we’re collecting wild memories and stories from around our coast. Do you have marine memories from your childhood, stories you heard from your parents or grandparents or even recent experiences that stand out in your mind?

These memories are unique to each person or community but are very rarely written down. With the passing of each generation, memories can be lost and fantastic stories disappear. We want to register and tell these stories to ensure that they don’t vanish altogether.

Marine Memories

Marine Memories © Peter Williams

In some instances, we can even use them to investigate how our seas have changed over time. Conservationists and scientists are increasingly turning to the past in an attempt to gain an understanding of our environment. Historical information and the relationship between communities and the sea are documented in reports, descriptions, books, legal documents, landing data, log books, pictures and in newspapers. This information is also captured in oral history – the living memories of today are the historic accounts of the future.

One of our favourite historical instances of this is described in Thomas Pennant’s British Zoology (1766).  In discussing basking sharks, he notes that “they visited the bays of Caernarvonshire and Anglesea in vast shoals, in the summer of 1756, and a few succeeding years, continuing there only the hot months, for they quitted the coast about Michaelmas, as if cold weather was disagreeable to them”.  And, even in those days, local memories were important.  A footnote on the same page states that “some old people say they recollect the same sort of fish visiting these seas in vast numbers about forty years ago”.  No longer, alas.

We’d love to hear of any fantastic or unusual marine life encounters or stories of life on our coast – and to see any photographs or videos that you have to share!  Find out how to contribute at: www.livingseas.wales/share-your-sea-stories-with-us