Monitoring and Surveillance Options

A variety of techniques exists for surveying subtidal sedimentary biotopes. Different techniques provide different types and quality of information. The choice of method(s) to be used will therefore depend on the type of data required, and on the purpose of the survey, which may be either initial mapping and faunal characterization over a large area, or repeated monitoring at a smaller spatial scale. The availability and cost of the equipment required will also be a factor.

The following sections will review the methods available, summarize the advantages and disadvantages of each, and discuss examples where particular techniques have been applied to the ‘Sea pens and burrowing megafauna’ biotope complex.

It is worth noting at this stage that all these monitoring techniques require appropriate training and practical expertise to be employed effectively. In common with most other field investigations in the marine environment, success is usually also dependent on favourable weather conditions.

Monitoring techniques

Provisional monitoring scheme relevant to SACs