Can I touch that?


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Most animals you find in rock pools around the UK and in Manx waters are okay to handle. Obviously watch out for spines on urchins or fish and pincers on crabs or lobsters. 

But consider this, you’ve decided to do a little rock pooling. You find something you like the look of and can’t resist getting a little closer, but how should you pick it up and how long should you handle it for? 

The most important thing to remember is always be gentle with what you find in rock pools! Most of the favourites such as starfish can be very brittle and arms may fall off if you are too rough! No one wants to amputate a starfish! 

Make sure your hands are wet and hold them very gently over the water in case you drop them. Never handle rock pool organisms for longer than you need to. They belong in the water after all! 

Found something you don’t know the name of/something unusual? Take a snap and send us the picture on

We’d love to see your pictures and help you identify any critters!  

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