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Study of the long-term impact of the Braer oil spill on the benthic fauna of the Shetlands - AE0219

R&D Summary objective:- Determine the impact of the beneficial spill on the benthic fauna of the Shetlands 18 months after the accident, by relating spatial trends in the benthic community structure to oil concentrations in the sediment. Key customer purpose:- Through improved understanding of the response of biota to, and recovery from an oil spill enhance SOAFD's and MAFF's ability to predict the environmental consequences of oil spills.
To assess the impact by determining spatial trends in faunal community trends in relation to trends in sediment oil concentrations and to attempt to explain the relative lack of impact detected after the first survey. Specific objectives include: a) determination of the physical nature of the sediments in the study area in relation to water depth and oil contamination. b) Identification and enumeration of the benthic fauna from sample stations along transects through the contaminated area. c) Determination of benthic community structure by univariate and multivariate analysis of species abundance distributions over the transects. d) Determination of recruitment success in key species within the study area. e) Determination of spatial trends in standing crop biomass of the benthic in faunna. f) Production of final report.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1994

To: 1995

Cost: £58,180
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Environmental Research Technology Ltd
Environmental monitoring              
Environmental Protection              
Water quality monitoring              
Fields of Study
Environmental Protection - Marine