Northern North Sea (2010)
They may not be much to look at but offshore deep sea muds,
sands and gravels are highly productive components of the marine
ecosystem and play host to a huge diversity of marine organisms.
The image on the right for example shows the seemingly lifeless
seabed peppered with the burrows of a diverse range of shellfish,
worms and even burrowing fish. These habitats may also play host to
animals such as the spectacular fireworks anemone and forests
of sea pens which resemble elegant white feathers growing out of
Representatives from JNCC boarded the Marine Scotland
vessel the Scotia in July 2010 to join Marine
Scotland Science crew on their herring survey of the northern North
Sea to better improve our knowledge of the species present in
offshore deep sea mud, sand and gravel habitats. The area covered
by the survey is illustrated on the map below.
Forty-nine van-veen grab samples and
complementary video and stills data were collected to provide broad
scale coverage of the survey area. Examples of the range of marine
species identified from the survey are illustrated below.
The data collected will be processed and used
to locate search features for potential Nature Conservation
MPAs in the seas around Scotland.
If you have any further questions about JNCC's offshore survey
work then please contact us