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

Ocean Ecology completed the post-construction surveys successfully with high quality of deliverables. The Ocean Ecology team is flexible and were able to adapt to changing conditions and sampling approaches at short notice to help to ensure the compliance with the Marine Licence conditions. It was especially appreciated that when any challenges or ambiguities arose, solutions were also proposed in a timely and pragmatic fashion. As a client, minimal effort was required on our side of the project to manage Ocean Ecology. The project leads displayed excellent technical knowledge with the necessary enthusiasm and commitment to support collaboration and were professional at all times.
Karma Leyland - Senior Environment & Consents Specialist, Ørsted

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.