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Joint Nature Conservation Committee

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  • Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) surveys were comissioned in 2005/06 by the Department of Trade & Industry (now Department for Energy and Climate Change). These surveys, in which JNCC collaborated, acquired multibeam and sidescan sonar data. Ground-truthing data (seabed imagery and biological/sediment samples) was also collected. Although full coverage multibeam and sidescan data was not present for all locations where potential Annex I reef was indicated the available data has provided a good indication of the nature of Annex I reef habitat present within Pobie Bank Reef SAC.Data from the SEA surveys were subsequently analysed to idenitfy areas of Annex I Reef within the Pobie Bank Reef SAC.

  • This map was produced as part of the site selection process for the Greater Thames Estuary AoS. It aimed to characterise the habitat features of the AoS, and to identify the areas of Annex I habitat present.

  • Mapped Habitats, captured from multibeam bathymetry and derived layers by geophysicist and ecologist. JNCC undertook a survey with Marine Scotland Science to Pobie Bank Reef cSAC with the aim of gathering high quality evidence to better ascertain the distribution of bedrock and stony reef for the development of management advice. Multibeam bathymetry and backscatter data and sidescan sonar data were collected, as were benthic infaunal and PSA samples and underwater stills and video imagery. Data were gathered from the FRV Scotia from 23rd August to 6th September 2013. Data (acoustic and underwater camera tow video and stills) from two SEA surveys undertaken at Pobie Bank Reef cSAC in 2003 and 2006 were made available and utilised in the analysis. Also available is a biological data interpretation report based on these data. The report was prepared by Envision in 2009, and contains the most recent habitat map for Pobie Bank Reef cSAC.

  • The objective of this project was to generate seabed habitat maps for locations with full coverage acoustic datasets to as detailed a hierarchical level as possible within the Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland (version 04.05), also known as MNCR classification, (Connor et al. 2004). The acoustic data were at various stages of processing and interpretation, therefore the mapping of habitats and biotopes in some areas have required a greater amount of work to reach the same level compared to other areas. The constituent polygons within the habitat/biotope maps are labelled to an appropriate level of the Habitat Classification and translated to the corresponding EUNIS code. In order to generate seabed habitat maps for the areas the data associated with each area were required to undergo some preliminary preparation and processing in order to ensure suitability and compatibly with the mapping methodologies employed. The data were then processed using a top-down approach was adopted based on the methods developed by MESH and UKSeaMap and used by EUSeaMap, which utilised the updated seabed substrate information provided by BGS. Habitat maps for the area have been produced (the level of habitat detail which could be mapped was restricted to level 3 or 4 of the EUNIS classification and level 2 or 3 of the MNCR classification) with associated metadata and peripheral supplementary data to aid in future analysis and interpretation. A confidence assessment using the MESH confidence assessment method has been undertaken for each habitat map produced and certainty of classification maps accompany each habitat map also.

  • Predicted distribution of Annex 1 Reef habitat using data from SEA 6 survey data from S/V Kommander Jack Irish Sea survey 2004, Legs 2 qnd 3. Geophysical acoustic data and groundtruthing by photos and video was used for analysis.

  • Outputs produced as part of the Outer Thames Estuary Regional Environmental Characterisation on behalf of the Marine Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund. Data available to download from

  • Confidence in the classification of the EUNIS/full-detail habitat types in the EUSeaMap (2019) broad-scale predictive habitat map. Values are 1 (low confidence), 2 (moderate confidence) or 3 (high confidence). The final habitat type is classified by overlaying several layers of information; these layers of information are collectively known as 'habitat descriptors'. Habitat descriptors differ per region but include: Biological zone Energy class Oxygen regime Salinity regime Seabed substrate Riverine input The confidence in the classification of the habitat type is taken as the minimum of the confidence in all of the relevant habitat descriptors at that location. Confidence values are also available for each habitat descriptor and input data layer. Detailed information on the modelling process for the 2016 is found in the EMODnet Seabed Habitats technical report and its appendices (Populus et al, 2017, link in Resources). We are working on an updated report for the 2019 version. Created by the EMODnet Seabed Habitats project consortium. It is important to note that a habitat type confidence score is only relevant to that particular level of the classification system. For example, a cell of A3.1 high energy infralittoral rock with ‘low’ energy class confidence, ‘moderate’ biozone confidence and ‘high’ substrate type confidence would have an overall ‘low’ confidence. However, moving up the hierarchy to EUNIS level two (A3 infralittoral rock) removes the energy class; therefore, the confidence of the EUNIS level two habitat type would only consider the ‘moderate’ biozone confidence and ‘high’ substrate type confidence, resulting in an overall ‘moderate’ confidence.

  • Outputs produced as part of the Outer Thames Estuary Regional Environmental Characterisation on behalf of the Marine Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund. Data available to download from

  • Annex I habitat map created from data collected on the CEND 11/08 survey to Solan Bank - subsequently translated to EUNIS. Sublittoral sediments defined using acoustic and groundtruth data. Survey Techniques: Kongsberg EM3000D multi beam echosounder; Benthos SIS 1624 towed sidescan sonar; 0.1m2 Hamon grab; Rock dredge; Camera sledge; Drop frame video camera. See JNCC report 430, 2010 for more information. Orthorectified aerial photography used was flown to a scale of 1:5000. Photography was flown at low tide on a spring tide between the months of April and September to ensure maximum vegetation coverage. As a result of this and due to adverse weather conditions over some of the key tidal windows the whole project area was not captured in one block, but flown in stages between 2006 and 2009. Although ground-truthing was undertaken to support and validate the habitat map, not all areas were ground-truthed.

  • Predicted distribution of biotopes using data from SEA surveys from 2003 & 2006 together with BGS data.