MEMBERS of Coastwatch Ireland are scouring the shoreline between Hook Head and Annestown on the Waterford coast to determine whether a honeycomb reef discovered there is the biggest of its kind in Europe. A French reef near the town of Saint-Malo in Brittany currently holds the record.
The honeycomb reef is created by a small worm (sabellaria albeolata) that lives inside small tubes that it builds from sand and shell. When thousands of these worms work together they can form massive reefs along the coastline and form useful habitat for other marine life.
Coastwatch is asking members of the public to walk the shore at low tide to check for reef outcrops and help measure the length and size of the reef. Kayakers and divers are also invited as the worms continue building into shallow water.
Wexford-based Karin Dubsky, Project Coordinator with Coastwatch Europe, said the first results look very encouraging.
'We are looking for more surveyors to give an hour and search their shore,' she said.
She said that on the Wexford side, Emmet Delaney found a healthy honeycomb reef 10- 55m wide straddling low water and walked two, 500 metre survey units from Booley Bay towards Duncannon and still hadn't reached the reef end.