At-sea ornithological survey guidance

Informing assessments for marine licensing though the design and implementation of robust ornithology surveys

ABPmer was commissioned by Natural Resources Wales to draft guidance to support the design and implementation of robust ornithology surveys to inform assessments for marine licensing and other consenting regimes. The guidance document is one of a series of marine and coastal guidance notes developed by NRW to help streamline the regulatory review and consultation processes.

The guidance provides advice to developers on the circumstances in which project specific surveys are likely to be required and the types and intensity of survey that may be required in different circumstances. The guidance seeks to provide a proportionate approach to defining information requirements in line with better regulation principles.

The guidance reviews the strengths and weaknesses of different survey methods including aerial surveys, vessel-based surveys and vantage point surveys as well as wider remote sensing and telemetry studies. It considers the spatial and temporal coverage requirements for surveys and the statistical robustness of evidence to be collected. The guidance will assist developers in planning at sea ornithological surveys and help to ensure that data collected are sufficient to inform marine licensing.