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North West Irish Sea mounds: Hard and soft substrata habitats 2008

Marine JNCC Publications Offshore Seabed Survey Seabed Habitats and Geology 0963-8091 Evidence Habitats Directive JNCC report series Marine Marine Habitat Mapping Marine Habitats Marine protected area Surveillance and Monitoring The Irish Sea Pilot Project 410 Identification of Annex 1 Reef and subtypes Drop camera Multibeam echo sounder Multi-beam echo sounder still and video imagery Towed video Video Tows


The North West Irish Sea Mounds are a group of bedrock outcrops in a region of the Irish Sea known as the North Channel, which separates Northern Ireland and Scotland. These mounds were originally identified and mapped by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (Admiralty Charts) and British Geological Survey (BGS) who described them as bedrock outcrops in an otherwise fairly homogeneous, deep sedimentary region.

Since June 2003, a number of acoustic and biological surveys have been conducted in the area of the North Channel north west of the Isle of Man adjacent to the boundary of the NW Irish Sea “mud patch”. The area has been identified as a potential offshore SAC (Special Area of Conservation) for Annex I reef habitat, principally rocky reef habitat. In June 2006, the study area was mapped using multi-beam sonar and a number of potential habitat features identified. A series of cruises attempting to characterise the primary biological features of the area were undertaken in November 2006 and January/February 2007.

This report contains the interpretation of both the soft bottom infauna data and epifauna data together with supporting physical descriptors.

A number of important sub-features in the area are also discussed, in particular small pockets of firmer sediment between rock surfaces were often characterised by dense tube worm communities (Galathowenia oculata and Melinna palmata).

Resource type Publication

Topic category Oceans

Reference date 2008·09·01

Mellor, A., Mitchell, A., Strong, J., Rooney, L. & Service, M. 2008. North West Irish Sea mounds: Hard and soft substrata habitats. *JNCC Report No. 410*, JNCC, Peterborough.

This report is based on the data gathered from a number of research cruises to the North-West Irish Sea region between 2003 and 2007.

Responsible organisation
Communications, JNCC publisher

Limitations on public access No limitations

Use constraints Available under the Open Government Licence 3.0

Metadata date 2020·05·18

Metadata point of contact
Communications, JNCC

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