Ecological Survey

ABPmer’s marine ecologists and ornithologists work to the highest standards in the field applying both established survey protocols, as well as innovative techniques, for both baseline characterisation and monitoring surveys.

We design and undertake bespoke ecological surveys to meet all project needs. Our experienced ecological survey team ensures that surveys are robust and proportionate. They can be conducted as standalone baseline studies or can be effectively integrated with impact assessment studies or wider monitoring programmes.

Habitat surveys

ABPmer specialises in conducting a wide range of intertidal and subtidal benthic surveys in marine, coastal and estuary environments. Our experienced ecologists undertake all stages of survey delivery, including regulatory consultation, planning, field survey and reporting.

Our survey team routinely conduct a wide variety of intertidal habitat surveys extending from targeted Phase I (walkover) to Phase II (quadrat and core sampling) surveys across a range of coastal environments, including: estuarine complexes, honeycomb worm reef, mudflats and sandflats, rocky shores, saltmarsh, and seagrass beds.

ABPmer undertakes a wealth of subtidal marine ecological surveys of benthic habitats and species, as well as the characterisation of epibenthic communities.

Our subtidal survey capabilities include:

  • Grab sampling (Day, Hamon and Van Veen)
  • Drop-down video camera surveys
  • Sediment sampling (PSA, contaminant analysis)

Bird surveys

Our experienced ornithologists have substantial experience in undertaking dedicated surveys of coastal waterbirds and seabirds for baseline and post-consent monitoring studies. This includes surveys based on established techniques including WeBS approaches, Vantage Point surveys, vessel-based seabirds at sea methods and night vision optics for nocturnal surveys. We also apply innovative techniques such as GPS tagging for telemetry studies.

Fish surveys

Our team have a detailed knowledge of fish ecology and the commercial fishing industry and are capable of undertaking fish ecology surveys using a range of techniques to enable sampling of coastal, marine and migratory fish species.

Sampling approaches include:

  • Coastal surveys (seine, gill, fyke netting)
  • Mid water and epibenthic trawls
  • Baited Underwater Video
  • Shellfish assessment surveys
  • Habitat assessment (black bream nesting sites)

Marine mammal surveys

Our survey team includes qualified Marine Mammal Observers with experience in undertaking dedicated marine mammal surveys for baseline characterisation and impact monitoring programmes, including JNCC mitigation protocols. This includes the application of transect-based vessel surveys, coastal vantage point methods and passive acoustic monitoring approaches.


  • Baseline characterisation for consents and licensing
  • Post-consent monitoring
  • Monitoring of protected sites and species
  • Habitat mapping
  • Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW)
  • Seabed classification
  • Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs)
  • Licence support

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Related projects

Ecological Survey

At-sea ornithological survey guidance

Ecological Survey

Waterbird monitoring in Southampton Water

Ecological Survey

Data collection for Welsh Sustainable Management project

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Marine and Coastal Survey - part of ABPmer


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