JNCC Offshore Survey Blog

As part of our statutory responsibility to recommend Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in UK offshore waters (beyond 12 nautical miles), JNCC gathers information to help support these recommendations; either by searching and retrieving existing information, or through collaborative or commissioned survey. Once these MPAs have been identified, further information gathered through survey may be required to deliver management measures and conservation advice. JNCC survey work takes place throughout the year and our staff who join the research vessels will blog throughout the survey sharing information and images from the survey.

 

JNCC Offshore Survey blog

  • Farnes East MCZ and the end of another survey

    It’s come to that time and we’ve reached the end of another survey. We’ve had a packed survey schedule and I’m really pleased with everything we have managed to achieve over the last couple of weeks. This includes more than 500 Hamon grab samples, and over 10 hours of video footage collected across Farnes East MCZ and North East of Farnes Deep MCZ.

    At Farnes East MCZ we have now set up 16 sentinel monitoring stations, which we can use to build up a long-term time series to understand how the habitats and species communities at the site change over time.
    Sampled stations at Farnes East MCZ


    Completed sampling stations at Farnes East MCZ. Showing the long-term monitoring stations set up to show trends at the site, and the mud stations chosen to better understand the distribution so sea-pen and burrowing megafauna communities at the site.

    We also sampled areas of subtidal mud at Farnes East MCZ. In this substrate type we have evidence for, or suspect the habitat feature of conservation importance (FOCI) sea-pen and burrowing megafauna communities to be present. The burrows created by species such as Nephrops norvegicusare a key feature of this habitat. This data collected here will give us a better understanding of the distribution of this FOCI at the site.
    A surprised little Nephrops norvegicus caught on camera


    Nephrops norvegicus builds its burrows in muddy seabed habitats. This crustacean goes by many names, you may know it as; “Norway lobster”, “Dublin Bay prawn”, “Langoustine”, or “Scampi”.

    The next step will be to have all this raw data processed and analysed, the results of which will be made available in a monitoring report.

    So it’s goodbye to Farnes East MCZ and North East of Farnes Deep MCZ for now, but we’ll be back!

    Thanks for all the effort from the Cefas scientists and crew of the Cefas Endeavor for making this another successful partnership survey.
    Obligatory sunset photo from the end of the survey
    Written by James Albrecht


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