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2011, Brown and May Marine Ltd, Zone 3 Dogger Bank Tranche A and Proposed Cable Route, Pelagic Fish Characterisation Survey

2011, Brown and May Marine Ltd, Zone 3 Dogger Bank Tranche A and Proposed Cable Route, Pelagic Fish Characterisation Survey

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Epifauna and Fish

Description

The following report details the findings of the September 2011 pelagic fish characterisation survey, undertaken in the vicinity of the Tranche A and along the proposed export cable corridor between the 14th and 28th September 2011.

The survey methodology, vessel and sampling gear were agreed in consultation with Cefas and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO). A dispensation from the MMO for the Provisions of Council Regulation 850/98 to catch and retain undersize fish for scientific research and 43/2009 specifically related to days at sea was obtained prior to commencement of this survey. A summary of the Health and Safety performance of the survey is provided in Appendix 1.

The main aim of the survey was to assess whether C. harengus is currently using the historic spawning grounds of the Dogger Bank. In addition, the survey was aimed at providing site specific information to identify the principal pelagic species present in Tranche A and their relative abundance.

A total of 11 species were caught during the survey. Overall, sprat (Sprattus sprattus) was the most abundant species caught, and was found only in transects A, C and D. Mackerel (Scomber scombrus) was the most abundant species in transect A and B. In transect C, S. sprattus was the most prevalent species, and whiting (Merlangius merlangus) was the dominant species in transect D.

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Report