Survey theme: Benthic Ecology
The study of organisms that make up communities on the seabed
Benthic Ecology surveys on the MDE can compose of the analysis of data collected by grab samples and/or benthic trawls. Grab sampling obtains quantitative seabed samples for biological and physical analysis. Scientific beam trawls are a form of biological sampling that aim to identify the mobile species that may be missed if sampling using grab sample techniques alone.
Benthic ecology can be an indicator of environmental health and so offshore industries will often conduct baseline ecological surveys before regularly monitoring benthic ecology survey results to understand, and to mitigate, the impact of any activity on the marine ecosystem.