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Use of multibeam echosounder surveys in relation to designating and managing Marine Protected Areas

Creator : Marc Haerinck, Christine Dobroniak, Peter Tinsley
Date : 06/03/2015

This report looks at the use of multibeam echosounder survey (MBES) as a tool for designating and managing MPAs through two case studies.  The first looks at how MBES data, often collected for other purposes, influenced site selection and boundary decisions during marine Special Area of Conservation and Marine Conservation Zone  designation in English waters of the Channel and how MBES has been used to support management of marine protected areas, from mapping of protected features to raising awareness and public support.


The second case study looks at using repeat MBES surveys to detect morphological change in sediment habitats on the French Channel coast.  The high cost of collecting MBES, mostly due to ship time, means that collaboration between agencies collecting MBES for different purposes is necessary, with the caveat that data from hydrographic surveys may have less than optimum quality backscatter information, which can reduce the value of the data for delineating seabed habitats and therefore for detecting change in condition or extent of conservation features.

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updated on 03/05/2015
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