The Nudibranch Safari 2017

Written by Bjørnar Nygård on . Posted in Workshops

03012017 111538From 28th February to 5th March, Gulen Diveresort held it's annual Nudibranch Safari. This year was the eight time the this event/workshop was held and my sixth time at it, this year the safari was set a bit earlier than the previous years, but that didn't stop us finding some nice nudibranchs.
The Nudibranch Safari is hosted by international and nationally acclaimed experts (Curator Bernard Picton, Dr. Alexander Martynovin, Dr. Tatiana Korshunova and Dr. scient. Torkild Bakken) the field that teach us about identification, behaviour, what habbits to look for and the biology of our favorite subject, the nudibranch.
This is a good place to meet like-minded people that can help you and you can also learn from. Each day we had one or two leactures about nudibranchs, Bernard Picton kicked of the lectures with a leacture plainly called "What is a Nudibranch?" which simply told us that we out nudibranchs in two main groups, Cladobranchs which mostly eats things with stinging cells and Anthobranhcs which eats spnges, bryozons and sea squirts. The lecture also told us a little about the work that has been done discovering nudibranchs in our fauna from put nudibranchs from the start with Linnaeus in 1758 and to more current times.
Both Dr. Scient Torkild Bakken and Dr. Alexander Martynovin held interesting lectures about there work and studies.
Dr. Scient Torkild Bakken held a very interesting lecture about the work he had been doing with his colleauge along the cost of Norway identifying nudibranchs and also how a big part the Nudibranch Safari had been in their work and also how a big help us participants and underwater photographers had been in documenting and finding species.
Dr. Alexander Martynovin held a lecture called "How to distinguish species of the genus Dendronotus which are occurred at the Gulen Dive Center", this was a very interesting and helpfull lecture that really told us that there is not just two species of Dendronotus but infact three, and it clearly told us the differences between the three and how to identify them.
"Studio" set-upWe also had a lecture by Christian Skauge (editor of the Norwegian dive magazine Dykking) about how to photograph nudibranhcs not just in situ but also how to try to think about how you light the subject, your background and how to light your subject to make it stand out.

In between the lectures there where also diving, alot of diving, most of the dives where done at the house reef at the resort but we also had a field trip to a beautiful place called "Seglsteinen" in Krakhellesundet. During our dives we where encouraged to collect and photograph specimens (which is allowed in Norway for scientific purposes) and the experts would help us identify, either from the pictures or from the collected specimens, what we had found if we didn't know what it was. By the end of the safari we had found about 50 species of nudibranch at the house reef, some that are more comon that others and also some that are more rare and some that hadn't been seen before. All in all this has once again been a great week with lots of fun diving, photographing nudibranch in the water and in the make shift lab on land, and I guess this won't be my last Nudibranch Safari either.

Below you can see some of the pictures that I took during the Nudibranch Safari