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Assessing the cost, benefits and feasibility of utilising existing equipment - MB0135

Currently fishing vessels carry a range of equipment which could be used to both fill significant gaps in UK seabed data coverage and identify areas of potential conservation interest at higher resolution than currently exist. This desk based scoping project aims to assess the potential costs, logistical considerations and data quality issues associated with utilising existing equipment that is prevalent on the English Fishing Fleet as well as identification of other sectors where this approach will be applicable. The outputs will enable Defra and others to consider a detailed pilot project to assess the extent to which working with the fishing industry and other commercial vessels may enable cost effective data acquisition.
1.Undertake a literature review identifying where and how commercially available echo-sounders have been used by fishers and other commercial vessels to acquire and/or to improve
a.marine habitat data.
b.Condition monitoring of protected areas.
c.Other data acquisition relevant to improving the evidence base for MPAs

2.Undertake a literature review of the main echo sounder systems available, and the variables that are likely to affect data quality, acquisition, processing and interpretation. This will draw on findings of Objective 1, but also the experience of the project team in data acquisition.

3.Make recommendations on potential pilot actions to test the likely variables identified on Objective 2 and the anticipated level of quality expected

4. Make broader recommendations on areas where further investigation may identify opportunities for existing vessels and equipment to generate marine habitat and other relevant data for marine management purposes.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2014

To: 2014

Cost: £12,800
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Marine Planning Consultants (part of the Gardline Group)
Marine Life