No. 15 CEND 03/13: Offshore seabed survey of Bassurelle Sandbank cSAC/SCI
(015 - 2017)
Barrio Froján, C., Jenkins, C. & McIlwaine, P.
A dedicated multidisciplinary survey (CEND 03/13) of the Bassurelle Sandbank SCI was conducted in March 2013 aboard the RV Cefas Endeavour (Whomersley 2013) The principal aim of the survey was to collect additional information (acoustic and ground-truthing data) from the Bassurelle Sandbank SCI to increase current knowledge of the distribution and heterogeneity of benthic habitats and communities present, to assist the development of future management advice and plans.
 

Abstract

 

The Bassurelle bank is a linear sandbank in the Dover Strait straddling the boundary between British and French waters.  It is an example of an open shelf ridge sandbank, which is formed by tidal currents. The part of the sandbank within UK waters is approximately 2.5km at its widest point, and has a maximum height of around 15m. It extends for about 15km in a SW-NE direction to the UK-France median line, and continues for some distance into French waters (Graham et al 2001).

The dedicated survey of the Bassurelle Sandbank SCI was successful in acquiring new acoustic and ground-truthing data, which, in combination with existing historical datasets, has enabled the physical and benthic faunal characterisation of the sandbank feature and its immediate surroundings. The sandbank feature corresponds with the definition of an Annex I sandbank habitat feature.

The Bassurelle bank conforms to the definition of a ‘sandbank which is slightly covered by sea water all the time’. As such, the feature has been proposed as a candidate special area of conservation (cSAC). A site remains a cSAC until it has been formally designated as a SAC by UK Government, following approval as a site of community importance (SCI) by the European Commission. Bassurelle Sandbank cSAC was submitted to the European Commission for consideration on 20th August 2010. It has since been approved by the European Commission as a site of community importance (SCI).

 

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ISSN 2051-6711
 
Please cite as: Barrio Froján, C., Jenkins, C. & McIlwaine, P., (015 - 2017), No. 15 CEND 03/13: Offshore seabed survey of Bassurelle Sandbank cSAC/SCI, ISSN 2051-6711