The Fireworks Anemone, Pachycerianthus multiplicatus, is a spectacular, tube dwelling sea anemone with a tentacle span that can be almost half a metre across. It is an uncommon species and around 95% of the international population are found in sheltered Scottish sea lochs, sometimes in beds with hundreds of individuals. There is surprisingly little known about them, but they are an important constituent of burrowed mud communities. Designated as a UK Priority Marine Feature, they are of special conservation concern due to their apparent slow growth rate and vulnerability to environmental changes.
A Project Baseline monitoring programme was set up in Loch Alsh in 2019; in collaboration with the UK citizen science recording scheme, Seasearch. The scheme’s standard survey techniques are used to record the overall picture of species and habitats in the loch; while the Project Baseline monitoring programme currently focusses on a few selected anemones for long-term study.