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2013, Fugro EMU Ltd., Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm, Year 1 Post Construction Monitoring Benthic Survey

2013, Fugro EMU Ltd., Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm, Year 1 Post Construction Monitoring Benthic Survey

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Benthic Ecology

Description

In 2009, EMU Limited (now Fugro EMU Limited) was commissioned the pre-construction survey to inform the
application for developing Sheringham Shoal wind farm. The study included assessment of the benthic
invertebrate community of the area as well as the presence and extension of any Sabellaria spinulosa reef, an
Annex I habitat. The aim of the work was also to establish a baseline repeatable survey to allow the assessment
of any change in the benthic community structure potentially attributable to the wind farm construction.

As part of the FEPA licence, post-construction environmental monitoring is required during the life of the offshore wind farm. This is fundamental for the understanding of any effect of the development on benthic communities. Accordingly, this report presents results from the post-construction survey carried out in December 2012; these were then formally compared with the results of the pre-construction survey carried out in 2009 (EMU, 2010). This includes comparative assessment of benthic communities, including biotope assessment, and any presence and extent of S. spinulosa aggregations indicated from the pre-construction via drop down video and still images analysis. In the assessment of any temporal epibenthic community and reference site change, reference to the more extensive 2005 survey (Scira Offshore Energy Ltd, 2006), and interim S. spinulosa assessment reports has been made.

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