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Understanding the Marine Environment - offshore survey of Annex I habitats beyond 12 nautical miles. - WC04026

There is a need to understand the extent and distribution of Annex I habitats occurring in UK marine waters. This research contract was established to collect important geomorphological and/or biological data on priority Areas of Search for EC Habitats Directive Annex I habitats in UK offshore to:

• Map the distribution and extent of seabed habitats;
• To assess the biological quality of seabed habitats; and
• To evaluate survey strategies and data collection methods for seabed habitats.

Two priority areas in the Irish Sea (Mid Irish Sea Reef and NW Irish Sea Mounds) were surveyed during 2006-07.

The research will benefit Defra in making progress in the delivery of the UK’s obligations to implement the 1992 Directive on the Conservation of natural habitats and of wild flora and fauna (92/43/EEC) and provide an opportunity to further develop understanding of the diversity of seabed habitats found in UK offshore waters. Such information will have multiple uses and will also assist in better planning for the use of our marine resources.
Project Documents
• General : JNCC Mid Irish Sea Reefs Habitat Mapping Project   (14461k)
• General : North West Irish Sea Mounds: Hard and Soft Substrata Habitats   (2577k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2006

To: 2008

Cost: £373,801
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Environmental Protection              
Marine conservation              
Marine Impacts              
Nature conservation              
Fields of Study
Wildlife Conservation