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2014, Brown and May Marine Ltd, Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm, Elasmobranch Long Line Survey May 2014

2014, Brown and May Marine Ltd, Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm, Elasmobranch Long Line Survey May 2014

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Epifauna and Fish

Description

The Marine Licence L/2013/00076 conditions associated with the Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm (GGOWF) stipulate that elasmobranch monitioring must be undertaken post-construction. In order to fulfil these conditions a post-construction longline survey targeting elasmobranchs was undertaken between the 13th and 16th May 2014 within and adjacent to the GGOWF and the cable route. The aim of the survey was to determine the abundance and distribution of elasmobranch species and the survey methodology was developed in consultation with the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).
A total of fourteen longlines were shot and hauled over the four day survey in which five species of elasmobranch were recorded; lesser spotted dogfish (Scyliorhinus canicula), thornback ray (Raja clavata), spurdog (Squalus acanthias), smoothhound sp. (Mustelus sp.) and tope (Galeorhinus galeus).
S. canicula were the most abundant species recorded during the survey with the highest numbers caught within the wind farm. R. clavata and S. acanthias were most abundant along the export cable sampling area and the cable control sampling area respectively.
S. canicula and R. clavata were recorded at all four sampling areas and all five elasmobranch species were caught at stations along the export cable. The smallest number of elasmobranch species was found at the wind farm control stations.

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