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2006, Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies Ltd. (CMACS), Desk Based Review of Fish Communities of the Wash

2006, Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies Ltd. (CMACS), Desk Based Review of Fish Communities of the Wash

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Epifauna and Fish

Description

This series focuses on the fish species likely to be present within the Wash and which would
therefore be subject to assessment for impacts from installation and operation of the wind farm export
power cable. In addition, the presence of any important fish habitats such as spawning and nursery
areas has also been identified along with any rare or protected fish species which may be found within
the area.

It was initially decided to undertake a series of detailed beam and otter trawls within the Wash to inform
the Environment Impact Assessment. However, this was deemed as being too intrusive to the Wash
Special Area of Conservation (SAC) by English Nature (EN). EN advised reviewing the available data for
biological fish communities of the Wash in the first instance, and in particular, the long-term data set held
by CEFAS for young fish surveys. EN further advised that data collection should only be considered if the
existing data highlighted significant data gaps. It was therefore decided that this investigation would be
entirely desk based drawing upon data from a variety of sources including the existing CEFAS young fish
survey beam trawl data.

It was found that the dominant species present were as expected for an area where the predominant habitat type is shallow sand substrates although the data was skewed towards demersal species due to the type of gear used for the CEFAS surveys. The distribution of fish species varies significantly on a small-scale basis over small time periods although a number of species also show distinct seasonal movements.

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Final Report