This section describes the existing biological environment in and around the Humber Gateway site and the export cable route corridor.
The section begins with a list of designated sites, including Special Protection Areas, Special Areas of Conservation and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. The baseline is then described in relation to the following flora and fauna:
• intertidal ecology (Section 8.3);
• subtidal benthos (Section 8.4);
• fish (Section 8.5);
• marine mammals (Section 8.6); and
• birds (Section 8.7).
In addition, Section 8.8 describes the underwater acoustic environment, as this is relevant to marine ecology, particularly marine mammals. Each of the sub-sections is structured as follows:
• an introduction, including a summary of consultation responses and a description of relevant policies and plans that are specific to that topic; • a description of any surveys that have been carried out and a summary of the methodologies adopted; and
• a description of the baseline environment, including the survey results.
The description of the baseline has been drawn from a range of data sources, including previously published data and the following site specific surveys that have been carried out on behalf of E.ON:
• intertidal survey;
• subtidal macrofauna grab sampling and epifauna trawl surveys;
• Sabellaria survey;
• fish trawl surveys and fish stomach analysis;
• marine mammals survey;
• boat and aerial based ornithology surveys; and
• ornithological radar surveys.