Bream nesting activity surveys support dredging licence requirements

17/06/2019

To support the aggregates industry in their commitment to ensure no negative effects from dredge activities, ABPmer has been commissioned to conduct a range of geophysical and ecological monitoring within and around the Kingmere MCZ to assess black bream nesting activity.

The Kingmere MCZ is located 5-10 km south of the West Sussex coast, considered to contain a nationally significant nesting site for black bream.

ABPmer conducted a geophysical survey utilising multibeam bathymetry and backscatter to identify the presence of black bream nests. Following the geophysical survey, a drop-down video (DDV) survey was conducted deploying high-definition video and photographic stills equipment to confirm the location and condition of the nests.

Backscatter imagery showing the presence of black bream nests in the Kingmere MCZ
Backscatter imagery showing presence of nests

The video and stills photography surveys contribute to the annual black bream monitoring requirements of the licences for aggregate dredge Areas 453 and 488. The survey is designed to determine nest viability (through photographs showing egg presence and nest condition) and determine whether spawning is occurring during the expected season (April to June).

A nest area cleared by black bream

Nest area cleared by black bream

Black bream eggs on a nest

Eggs on the nest

ABPmer undertook two further DDV surveys in July and August to monitor whether the black bream nesting season extends beyond when it was expected to finish by the end of June. These surveys were undertaken with ABPmer’s new, bespoke designed DDV equipment able to simultaneously capture high resolution video and stills.

The ABPmer survey team continue to develop a wide array of survey capability using the latest survey equipment.

 

Camera equipment used for black bream surveys in the Kingmere MCZ

Camera equipment used

 

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