Report 423
Broad-scale biotope mapping of potential reefs in the Irish Sea (north-west of Anglesey)
(2008)
Blyth-Skyrme, V., Lindenbaum, C., Verling, E., Van Landeghem, K., Robinson, K., Mackie, A. & Darbyshire, T.
The aim of this study was to investigate an area identified as potentially containing bedrock, stony or biogenic reef, protected habitats listed under Annex I of the EU ‘Habitats Directive’ (92/42/EEC).

Summary

 
 
This report describes the results of a survey of four areas of potential Annex I reef in the Irish Sea, north and west of Anglesey. The survey aimed to improve understanding of the habitats and communities present within areas identified as potentially containing Annex I reef habitat according to the Habitats Directive, and to assess the suitability of these areas for future designation as an offshore SAC. Acoustic and biological survey was undertaken during a survey in 2005. Biological communities were identified and mapped upon the underlying acoustic information. Data was assessed to interpret whether any of the habitats found fit within the interpretation of Annex I reef according to the Habitats Directive. The survey was undertaken as part of two Memorandums of Understanding, the first phase of the project (survey and initial data analysis) was funded through a Memorandum of Agreement between the JNCC, CCW and the UCC. The second phase of the project (further analysis, interpretation and reporting) was funded through a Memorandum of Agreement between the JNCC, CCW and the NMW. Part of the funding for this project was supplied by the MESH project. Cleaning, processing, and interpretation of multibeam bathymetry data was carried out by the University College Cork, under contract to JNCC, and funded by the MESH project. The lead partner for the project was the JNCC.
 
 
 
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Download this report in Sections

  • Content and Executive Summary(PDF, 172 kb)
  • 1. Introduction (PDF, 498kb) this pdf contains the following:
  • 1.1 Background to study
  • 1.2 Background to approaches in seabed habitat mapping
  • 1.3 Survey Areas
  • 1.3.1 Location
  • 1.3.2 Physical environment
  • 1.3.3 Biology
  • 1.4 Objectives
  • 2. Methodology (PDF, 549 kb) this pdf contains the following:
  • 2.1 Survey strategy and vessel
  • 2.2 Navigation
  • 2.3 Acoustic data collection
  • 2.3.1 Multibeam
  • 2.3.2 Single-beam
  • 2.4 Seabed sampling
  • 2.4.1 Selection of sampling stations
  • 2.4.2 Grab samples
  • 2.4.3 Video samples
  • 2.5 Data processing and analysis
  • 2.5.1 Multibeam bathymetry and backscatter
  • 2.5.2 Grabs Samples: Particle size analysis
  • 2.5.3 Samples: Biology
  • 2.5.4 Video
  • 2.6 Data integration and presentation
  • 3. Results (Please note:Due to the high quality of the multibeam and backscatter imagery displayed in figures 12 – 31 within this report, sections 3.1.1. to 3.1.4. of this report are available for download as separate pdf documents)
  • 3.1 Multibeam bathymetry and backscatter
  • 3.1.1 Area 1 (PDF, 5.8 mb)
  • 3.1.2 Area 2 (PDF, 7 mb)
  • 3.1.3 Area 3 (PDF, 862 kb)
  • 3.1.4 Area 4 (PDF, 4.7 mb)
  • 3.2 Sediment sample analyses (PDF, 646 kb) this pdf contains the following:
  • 3.2.1 Relationship between sediment and backscatter
  • 3.3 Grab samples (PDF, 646 kb) this pdf contains the following:
  • 3.3.1 Infauna
  • 3.3.2 Infaunal assemblages
  • 3.3.3 Infaunal biotopes
  • 3.3.4 Comparison with data collected during the HABMAP project
  • 3.3.5 Epifauna
  • 3.4 Video analysis (PDF, 4.1 mb) this pdf contains the following:
  • 3.4.1 Epifaunal assemblages
  • 3.4.2 Epifaunal biotope assignment
  • 3.4.3 Epifaunal biotope descriptions
  • 3.4.4 Epifaunal biotope distribution
  • 3.5 Presence and distribution of Annex I reef habitat
  • 4. Integrated assessment (PDF, 436 kb) this pdf contains the following:
  • 4.1 Area 1
  • 4.2 Area 2
  • 4.3 Area 3
  • 4.4 Area 4
  • 5. Areas of conservation interest (PDF, 133 kb) 
  • 6. Summary and conclusions (PDF, 148 kb) this pdf contains the following:
  • 6.1 Overview of results
  • 6.2 Interpretation of acoustic data
  • 6.3 Interpretation of biological data
  • 6.4 Relationship between acoustic and biological data
  • 6.5 Identification of Annex I habitats
  • 6.6 Quality issues with the results
  • 6.7 General conclusions
  • 7. Acknowledgements (PDF, 101 kb)
     
  • 8. References (PDF, 147 kb)
  • 9. Appendices (PDF, 616 kb) this pdf contains the following:
  • 9.1 Video log sheet
  • 9.2 Results of PSA from Emu
  • 9.3 Particle Size Analyses – Statistical methods
  • 9.4 SACFOR abundance scale
  • 9.5 Full PSA sample statistics including laser diffraction results.
  • 9.6 Grab sample data (infauna)
  • 9.7 List of Biotope Codes used within this project
  • 9.8 Grab sample data (epifauna)
  • 9.9 Video analysis data

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ISSN 0963-8091
 
Please cite as: Blyth-Skyrme, V., Lindenbaum, C., Verling, E., Van Landeghem, K., Robinson, K., Mackie, A. & Darbyshire, T., (2008), Broad-scale biotope mapping of potential reefs in the Irish Sea (north-west of Anglesey), JNCC Report 423, ISSN 0963-8091