MERiFIC 3.3.3: Technical Report Biodiversity Assessment - Methods for Surveying Marine Mammal Biodiversity around Small Islands

Report

Title: MERiFIC 3.3.3: Technical Report Biodiversity Assessment - Methods for Surveying Marine Mammal Biodiversity around Small Islands
Authors: Ingram, S.
Publication Date:
May 01, 2014
Document Number: MERiFIC 3.3.3
Pages: 17
Affiliation:
Technology Type:

Document Access

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Citation

Ingram, S. (2014). MERiFIC 3.3.3: Technical Report Biodiversity Assessment - Methods for Surveying Marine Mammal Biodiversity around Small Islands. Report by Plymouth University. pp 17.
Abstract: 

It is important that proposed renewable energy developments take into consideration potential impacts on marine fauna. Of significant concern are the potential impacts on marine mammals, cetaceans and seals, which are biodiverse in the MERiFIC region and represented by approximately 26 species. In order to understand the effects of marine renewable installations on local popula tions of marine mammals pre- and post-development site specific surveys are necessary. This technical report describes two survey methods suitable for surveying for marine mammals in the waters around small islands throughout the MERiFIC region; one shore based and one ‘at sea’. The waters around the small island of Lundy off the North Devon coast adjacent to the MERiFIC region were surveyed for small cetaceans and seals during November 2011 to July 2013 using a combination of shore based visual observations and remotely deployed acoustic detection devices (CPODs). Shore based surveys were conducted during June and July 2012 and 2013 using scan sampling with telescope and binoculars from preselected vantage points at cardinal locations around the island’s coast. The movements of sighted cetaceans were tracked using a surveyor’s theodolite enabling the locations of surfacing animals to be derived using spherical trigonometry from precisely surveyed observation sites. In addition to visual observations, which were restricted to summer months, continuous acoustic surveillance was also conducted at two sites off the island’s coast using moored CPODs. This report details the methods used in this study that can be usefully applied to surveys of marine mammals at o ther coastal and island locations within the MERiFIC region where renewable energy developments may potentially affect marine life.

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