ABPmer will undertake a phase one baseline survey of key features in the Bembridge MCZ, and assess the direction of ecological change.
To inform ongoing management of Bembridge Marine Conservation Zone, Natural England commissioned ABPmer to undertake a phase one baseline survey of key features and assess the direction of ecological change.
Bembridge Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) to the east of the Isle of Wight is designated for a wide range of habitats and species.
A number of species protected within the site are at the eastern most edge of their range, whilst other features like maerl are highly sensitive to disturbance and take a long time to recover.
Building on the previous survey undertaken at the site to verify features of conservation importance, ABPmer’s marine ecology survey specialists designed a statistically rigorous and repeatable survey and sampling programme.
Stephen Hull, Marine Policy Business Manager said:
“We are delighted to be awarded this contract. Having been involved right from the start of the MCZ designation process it’s exciting to see how they contribute to the sustainable use and management of the sea.
We used drop-down video and grab sampling to ground truth habitat and species data to assess change within the site and that, when mapped, will be essential to support proportionate management of activities within this highly diverse site.”
The surveys were completed in the autumn and lab work continues into the new year. The final report is expected to be issued in the spring.
As an integrated consultancy and survey company, ABPmer offers a unique service to those operating in the marine environment.
Experienced in ecological, geophysical, hydrographic, oceanographic and topographic survey, each can be delivered as a standalone service or as part of a wider consultancy project.