NatureScot Commissioned Report 437: Marine biological survey to establish the distribution of Priority Marine Features within the Clyde Sea area
NatureScot and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) have generated a draft list of important habitats and species, priority marine features (PMFs), in Scottish waters in order to help guide the selection of Nature Conservation Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The main objective of this study was to initiate a broad scale validation survey of historic PMF records within the Clyde Sea area, examining their distribution, extent, quality and health, and to conduct detailed assessments of discrete features where appropriate. In addition, regions for which there were few or no data (e.g. Kilbrannan Sound and the outer Firth of Clyde) were also targeted in order to identify any new PMFs and to achieve a broad coverage of the Clyde Sea area. A range of methods were employed, including drop-down camera surveys, sediment grab sampling and scientific diving. PMFs found include burrowed mud, horse mussel beds, maerl beds and kelp and seaweed communities.
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