Report 430
Understanding the marine environment – seabed habitat investigations of submarine structures in the mid Irish Sea and Solan Bank Area of Search (AoS)
(March 2010)
Whomersley, P., Wilson, C., Clements, A., Brown, C., Long, D., Leslie, A. & Limpenny, D.
The objectives of this survey, within the Submarine structures in the mid-Irish Sea Area of Search (AoS) and the Solan Bank AoS, were to acquire high quality acoustic data capable of identifying and delineating habitats listed under Annex I of the 1992 EC Habitats Directive; primarily the Annex I habitat Submarine structures made by leaking gases in the former AoS and Annex I Reef habitat in the latter AoS.

Summary

 
 
 

This document presents the findings of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) contract F90-01-200: “Understanding the marine environment-seabed habitat investigations of submarine structures in the mid-Irish Sea and Solan Bank Areas of Search (AoS)”. In May 2008 (18th – 27th May), a survey (CEND 11/08) commissioned by JNCC (Whomersley et al, 2008) undertook seabed habitat investigations of two Areas of Search (AoS) for offshore SACs. This report presents detailed geomorphological and biological information pertaining to both AoS.

 

The JNCC has a statutory responsibility to advise Government on the selection of Special Areas of Conservation, and since August 2007, the UK has had the legal mechanism to designate SACs in the UK offshore marine area (12 to 200nm from the coast and the UK Continental Shelf[) under the Offshore Marine Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 2007. To this end, this particular project was concerned with the gathering of scientific data to support the assessment of these two AoS (Figure 1) against SAC site selection criteria:

 

 
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ISSN 0963-8091
 
Please cite as: Whomersley, P., Wilson, C., Clements, A., Brown, C., Long, D., Leslie, A. & Limpenny, D., (March 2010), Understanding the marine environment – seabed habitat investigations of submarine structures in the mid Irish Sea and Solan Bank Area of Search (AoS), JNCC Report 430, ISSN 0963-8091