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Case studies for innovative methods for integration of marine and fisheries monitoring - FX0113

Description
Cost and readiness evaluation of remote and autonomous technology in the context of MPA monitoring.

Remote and autonomous technologies, such as satellites, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), autonomous surface vehicles (ASVs), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and remotely operated vehicle (ROVs), represent a promising technology with the potential to revolutionise MPA monitoring. There have been several studies of the readiness of remote and autonomous technologies to replace or augment existing/conventional field methods such as monitoring from research vessels for collecting marine environmental data. However, there is no consolidated assessment of such technologies and there are gaps in the existing analyses, particularly for benthic habitat MPA monitoring purposes. Without these products, there is no point of reference against which multiple parties can make investments, savings and transformation decisions.

This task will produce costed operational monitoring plans for five offshore MPAs, designated primarily for benthic habitats and species. It will be based on three different scenarios: (1) monitoring undertaken with traditional technologies only; (2) monitoring undertaken with a mixture of traditional and newer remote and autonomous technologies; and (3) monitoring undertaken with newer remote and autonomous technology only. A summary report, based on these three scenario will identify evidence and knowledge gaps, further work required, key conclusions and recommendations for future benthic MPA surveys.

For the purposes of this task, traditional benthic monitoring technologies are taken to include seabed imagery (sledge-mounted camera and dropframe-mounted camera), grab sampling (hammon grab, van-veen grab, day grab, box core, shipek grab), trawls and dredges, acoustic survey techniques (boat mounted multibeam echosounder, side scan sonar, sub bottom acoustic profiler). Newer remote or autonomous benthic monitoring technologies are taken to include satellites, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs, including Gliders), unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), autonomous surface vehicles (ASVs), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). It is important to note that a number of different sensors can be mounted onto these platforms and they are each able to collect different types of data or parameters.
Objective
The following activities will be undertaken:
1. Develop monitoring objectives for five offshore MPAs. The five MPAs represent a variety of different environmental conditions, including depth, habitat type, turbidity and energy, all of which will influence the cost-effectiveness of different monitoring techniques.
2. Develop costed monitoring plans for five MPAs, based on the monitoring objectives, using traditional monitoring technologies only.
3. Develop costed monitoring plans for five MPAs, based on the monitoring objectives, using (a) a mixture of traditional and newer remote and autonomous technologies; and (b) newer remote and autonomous technologies only.
4. For each of the costed monitoring plans explore the potential for operational integration with fisheries and environmental surveys using a simple RAG assessment supported by a narrative.
5. Produce a summary report describing the evidence and knowledge gaps, further work required, key conclusions, and recommendations for future MPA surveys

The Offshore MPA sites are:
- The Canyons MCZ
- Great Haig Fras MCZ
- North East of Farnes Deep MCZ
- Offshore Brighton MCZ
- North Norfolk Sandbanks and Saturn Reef SAC
With further details to be found on JNCC's Offshore MPAs website.
Project Documents
• SUM - Summary Report : FX0113 Hinchen et al. 2019 Cost and readiness evaluation of remote and autonomous technologies in the context of MPA monitoring   (3122k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2018

To: 2019

Cost: £95,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
J N C C (JNCC - Joint Nature Conservation Committee) Support Committee, C E F A S (CEFAS), Natural England
Keywords
Habitats              
Horizon Scanning              
Marine              
Natural Environment