Tuesday 20 August 2013

Offshore survey of Pobie Bank Reef cSAC due to commence

On the 23rd August another two week JNCC commissioned survey will commence, this time to Pobie Bank Reef candidate SAC (cSAC) aboard the MRV Scotia with Marine Scotland Science. Pobie Bank Reef is located in the North Sea, approximately 20km east of Unst, Fetlar and Whalsey in Shetland and is separated from Shetland by the Unst Basin (see map below). The cSAC is approximately 70km long and up to 21km wide. The reef is composed of a combination of stony and bedrock reef which meet the definition of the Annex I habitat reef, under the EU Habitats Directive. The reef is located on a bank of metamorphic and sedimentary rocks covered by a patchy veneer of sediment, ranging from sandy gravels to slightly gravelly sands and the bank overlays a flat plain of sedimentary rock, known as the East of Shetland Platform. 

The aim of the survey is to gather additional evidence to help improve our understanding of the seabed character and distribution of benthic communities within the site boundary. This information will then be used to facilitate discussions in relation to possible management measures at the site.