Subtidal Benthic Surveys

Our field team holds a wealth of experience in undertaking
subtidal benthic surveys in coastal and offshore environments
throughout the UK and internationally.

Our benthic surveys are conducted to assess for potential impacts of marine developments and activities on key protected habitats and the infaunal (within sediments) and epibenthic (on the seabed) communities they support. This includes:

    • Subtidal sediments
    • Bedrock and stony reefs
    • Polychaete worm reefs
    • Maerl beds
    • Seagrass beds
    • Cold-water coral reefs
    • Mussel beds
    • Deep-sea sponge aggregations


From inception to delivery, Ocean Ecology have worked meticulously in ensuring that our monitoring programme is fit for purpose and complies with all relevant conservation requirements. This has been achieved through liaison with the MMO and Natural England on our behalf allowing us continue with our activities with peace of mind knowing that we are meeting the conditions of our Marine Licence.
Andrew Collumbell - General Manager, Brighton Marina

In order to assess these habitats we utilise a variety of benthic sampling methodologies including:

  • Grab sampling (Day, Hamon, Van Veen and Ekman)
  • Seabed video / imagery collection via drop-down cameras, towed arrays or Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs)
  • Side scan sonar (SSS) and multibeam echosounder (MBES) mapping techniques

Our nearshore surveys are undertaken aboard our MCA Category 2 coded survey vessel Seren Las whilst sampling in deeper waters is conducted aboard offshore vessels operated by third parties.