The Bembridge Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ), to the east of the Isle of Wight, is designated for a wide range of habitats and species.
Many protected species within the site are at the eastern-most edge of their range and some features, for example maerl (red algae) are highly sensitive to disturbance and take a long time to recover.
To inform the ongoing management of activities within the site, Natural England commissioned ABPmer to undertake a phase one baseline survey of key features to assess the direction of ecological change.
Building on a previous survey to verify features of conservation importance, our marine ecology specialists designed a statistically rigorous and repeatable survey and sampling programme.
To understand habitat and species presence and any change, we used both drop-down video and grab sampling. This data was mapped and compared to previous surveys to determine any change to the site. Such mapping provides the ongoing evidence needed to support proportionate management of activities within this highly diverse site.
ABPmer's ecologists support impact assessments, site management decisions and conservation policy development through bespoke, robust and proportionate habitat, bird, fish and marine mammal surveys. Learn more about our ecological survey capability.