Marine benthic surveys

APEM’s dedicated team of field scientists have extensive experience in conducting offshore surveys in marine aggregate extraction areas related to licence applications, renewals or routine monitoring.

All marine field staff hold appropriate health and safety training, medicals and accreditations to undertake both nearshore and offshore surveys to a high health and safety standard.

We offer benthic grab surveys to assess epifaunal and infaunal communities, scientific trawling to assess larger, mobile species utilising the area, as well as underwater video surveys to determine broadscale habitats and general environmental conditions.

Grab sampling at sea

Grab sampling at sea

Surveys are tailored according to the regulatory requirements of the study and expected outcomes and are conducted according to best practice guidance developed specifically for the marine aggregates industry. Robust survey planning including desk studies and reviews of existing data for the area ensure that the sampling strategy is repeatable, robust and defensible.

Particular emphasis is paid to the detection of Annex I habitats, such as Sabellaria spinulosa reef, that may have licensing implications.

  • Marine Aggregates 2
  • Remotely operated vehicle for seafloor surveys Marine survey
  • Alvania cancellata
  • Acasta spongites (side)
  • Acasta spongites (front)

Laboratory analysis of marine samples

scientists in laboratory

Samples resulting from the benthic surveys of marine aggregates sites are analysed by our highly skilled taxonomists in our marine laboratories. All samples, both biological and particle size, are analysed to exacting NMBAQC standards and APEM’s internal quality standards.

Logo of NMBAQC scheme

Data are analysed and reported in concise, focussed reports tailored to the requirements of the surveys. APEM’s marine consultants have significant technical expertise relating to EIA procedures, production of environmental statements, HRAs and regional environmental assessments and producing technical reports for a variety of clients.

The experience of our marine team enables us to perform meaningful data standardisation and truncation of historical datasets collected from a variety of sources to ensure that conclusions are correct and well supported.

If you have any queries, please contact David Hall, head of marine and freshwater laboratories.
Alternatively you can email us here. Or call 0161 442 8938.