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  • This report is a contribution to the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA5) conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (now Department of Energy and Climate Change). Macrofuanal analysis was undertaken on 61 seabed samples from 13 locations to the southwest of Shetland that were contaminated by oil from the Braer tanker spill. The data report presents the resulting species list and abundance data, together with biomass data and the size measurements of selected taxa.

  • A seabird and cetacean survey was conducted onboard RV Kommandor Jack in July 2002 as part of the Department of Trade and Industry's (now Department of Energy and Climate Change) Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA4) of the Faroe Shetland Channel.

  • As part of the Department of Trade and Industry's (now Department of Energy and Climate Change) Strategic Environmental Assessment SEA2 a survey was undertaken in May/June 2001 for areas in the central and southern North Sea. This report summarises the sediment trace and heavy metal data generated from the analyses of selected samples from the three main study areas: the major sandbanks off the coast of Norfolk and Lincolnshire in the southern North Sea (SNS); the Dogger Bank in the SNS; and the pockmarks in the Fladen Ground vicinity of the central North Sea.

  • Seabed sampling with video and digital stills photography; Moray Firth, Southern Trench, Sandy Riddle, Pobie Bank, Braer Study Area, Fair Isle, Papa and Turbot Banks, Smith Bank and JONSIS Transect. This report forms the second of two reports relating to 2 research cruises undertaken on behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry (now Department of Energy and Climate Change) during the Strategic Environmental Assessment 5 (SEA5). Data were collected by the RV Kommandor Jack during the period September 17th - October, 8th, 2003. The report describes the collection of a variety of benthic sediment samples for the analysis of particle size, hydrocarbon and heavy metal content, and benthic fauna composition. These were collected in order to enable groundtruthing and interpretation of the various geophysical data-sets collected during the first cruise. In addition, marine video surveying techniques were used to photograph parts of the seabed.

  • This report is a contribution to the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA5) conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (now Department of Energy and Climate Change). This report describes the results of particle size and organic content analysis on samples obtained during the 'Biology' Leg of the SEA5 programme (RV Jean Charcot, September 17th - October 8th 2003; Outer Moray Firth and Northern North Sea). 216 samples sediment samples where analysed for particle size distribution and organic content. Standard geological methods were used to derive the following: percent total carbon, percent nitrogen, percent carbonate, percent organic material, particle size distribution and mud:sand:gravel ratio. Data are summarised within an Excel spreadsheet.

  • This report is a contribution to the Department of Trade and Industry's (now Department of Energy and Climate Change) Strategic Environmental Assessment SEA2. It gives an overview of the phytoplankton and zooplankton community composition in the North Sea and how this has fluctuated through the latter half of the 20th Century in response to environmental change. The study is based on a unique long-term dataset of plankton abundance in the North Atlantic and the North Sea acquired by the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR). The dinoflagellate genus Ceratium dominates the phytoplankton community in the North Sea, but diatoms are also important, especially in the southern part. The normal annual blooms of plankton are discussed, as are harmful algal blooms (HABs), which appear to be on the increase, possibly due to a combination of climatic variability and eutrophication. Among the zooplankton, copepods are particularly important and constitute a major food resource for many commercial fish species, such as cod and herring. Calanus is the dominant copepod genus in the North Atlantic. Other important components of the plankton, meroplankton, picoplankton and megaplankton are also reviewed. Very small picoplankton (~1 micron in diameter) and much larger gelatinous members of the megaplankton (e.g. jellyfish and ctenophores) are poorly sampled by the CPR. Although the picoplankton represents a sizeable fraction of total primary production, its role in the marine ecosystem is poorly understood. The introduction of non-indigenous plankton in ship's ballast water has been in progress for about a century. There is growing concern about the risk of alien species, and the importance of protecting native biodiversity.

  • This report describes fieldwork operations of the North Sea Strategic Environmental Survey, Leg 2 conducted from S/V Kommandor Jack between 05 May and 21 May 2001 as part of the Department of Trade and Industry's (now Department of Energy and Climate Change) Strategic Environmental Assessment SEA2. The survey objectives were to carry out quantitative seabed sampling and seabed photography in three distinct areas: Area 1 - sand bank / wave study areas, off the Norfolk coast; Area 2 - Dogger Bank transects; Area 3 - South Fladen pockmark study areas. Contains brief description of seabed appearance and fauna. 269 samples were collected.

  • This report is a contribution to the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA5) conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (now Department of Energy and Climate Change). This report reviews published and newly-acquired seabed geological data in an area of 78,000 square kilometres extending from the coast to more than 200 m water depth to the east of the British Isles. While it can be argued that the modern environment is a product of past environmental conditions, the basis for the review is also that our understanding of the modern environment can be significantly improved if new techniques, data and ideas are applied to a revision of the existing research knowledge. The purpose of the review is to place the characteristics of the seabed features that were surveyed by the DTI in 2003, and the processes forming them, into an improved understanding of their historical, local and regional context. In this way a strong element of the review is to include the results from exploration and discovery. The survey data included multibeam, sidescan sonar, seismic-reflection profiles, sea floor photographs and samples.

  • This report is a contribution to the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA3) conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (now Department of Energy and Climate Change). This report summarises sites which are protected for reasons other than nature conservation in the SEA3 area of the North Sea. They include sites of geological importance, archaeological importance, sites of designated water quality for bathing, and areas of bivalve shellfish production. Sites of geological importance include Geological Conservation Review sites (GCRs), geological Special Sites of Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Regionally Important Geological and Geomorphological sites (RIGS). Sites of archaeological importance include wrecks and scheduled monuments. A large number of wrecks exist in the SEA3 area, most uncharted. The majority of wrecks are found in coastal waters. Important historic wrecks in UK waters are protected under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973. Water samples are regularly taken from numerous beaches along the east coast for physical, chemical and microbiological analysis. Bathing beaches are classified according to national and European standards for quality. In the UK, shellfish for human consumption must be harvested from designated production areas.

  • This report is the product of the laboratory analyses carried out on sediments collected on the MV Kommandor Jack during the summer or 2001 as part of Department of Trade and Industry's (now Department of Energy and Climate Change) Strategic Environmental Assessment SEA2. The results of the analyses include tables and curves from the samples collected from the southern North Sea, the associated distribution curves, results of the analyses of the fine-grained samples collected from the northern North Sea, and the results of the Loss on Ignition analysis. An Excel data file is also available.