‘Beautiful’ Budleigh pictures showcase East Devon’s diverse underwater world
PUBLISHED: 09:10 06 February 2018 | UPDATED: 11:12 07 February 2018
Steve Pease says the practice of underwater photography opens up a ‘new world’.
A series of stunning stills taken in East Devon waters depict the dramatic diversity of marine species just a stone’s throw from the shore.
Steve Pease has been photographing sea life in Budleigh for eight years and his hobby has revealed a curiously colourful underwater world, teeming with life.
His pictures recently caused a social media sensation, gaining hundreds of reactions and more than 80 shares.
Devon Wildlife Trust has said his pictures illustrate how precious and delicate eco systems exist in our oceans just 50-100 metres from local shores – for which protection is vital.
Steve said: “It opens up a completely different, new world – it’s just sheer beauty. You wouldn’t believe you are paddling near them.”
Among the intriguing rocky reef species snapped by Steve are pipefish, spider crabs, tompot blennies, cuttlefish, starfish and a corkwing wrasse.
“One of my favourite fish is the he tompot blenny; they are brilliant, very inquisitive. If you don’t make a lot of noise they come out,” he added.
But Steve also emphasised the need to show respect for underwater habitats, which are ‘very fragile’ and hopes his pictures might raise awareness.
He said: “It does make you more aware of things like litter – it’s always around, bags and bits of plastic.
“I read a saying once which I thought was great: ‘Take only pictures and leave only bubbles’.
“If some pictures on Facebook can show people what amazing creatures are right on our doorstep and what we need to do to look after for future generations, that’s great!”
Devon Wildlife Trust’s marine education officer Coral Smith said: “Steve has shown beautifully just how diverse the sea around Devon is and how many different species live so close to home.
“Exmouth and East Devon is home to a fantastic diversity of marine life. It’s imperative that we protect areas like this, both inshore and offshore.
“Further out to sea, the diversity of amazing wildlife continues, with dolphins, whales, seabirds and basking sharks.”
An area offshore from Exmouth is vital for a population of white beaked dolphins, which forage and nurse their young there and Devon Wildlife Trust wants the Government to designate a Marine Conservation Zone to protect these marine megafauna. For more information or details on how you can support the trust’s campaign visit http://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/devon-dolphins.