Quality Assurance



Database

This database was developed by CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) in close collaboration with the MarBEF data management team at the Flanders Marine Institute .

The current database file that is made available for download is a draft version and needs further test input for validation of design and functionalities.

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Records:

  • ISO 9391 (1993, Ed. 1): Water quality - Sampling in deep waters for macroinvertebrates - Guidance on the use of colonization, qualitative and quantitative samplers
    Type: Standard
    Scope: International
  • prEN ISO 16665 (under Approval: 2005-04): Water quality - Guidelines for quantitative sampling and sample processing of marine soft-bottom macrofauna (ISO/FDIS 16665:2005)
    Type: Standard
    Scope: International
    Published in: CEFAS SOP 1381 1.0 Day grabbing (PDF)
  • prEN ISO 19493 (under Development: 2007-08): Water quality - Guidance on marine biological surveys of littoral and sublitoral hard bottom
    Type: Standard
    Scope: International
  • prEN 15204 (under Approval: 205-11): Water quality - Guidance standard for the routine analysis of phytoplankton abundance and composition using inverted microscopy (Utermohl technique)
    Type: Standard
    Scope: International
  • ISO 10260 (1992): Water quality - Measurement of biochemical parameters - Spectrometric determination of the chlorophyll-a concentration
    Type: Standard
    Scope: International
  • CEN 230172 Water quality - Sampling of fish with gillnets
    Type: Standard
    Scope: International
  • EN 14011 (2003): Water quality - Sampling of fish with electricity
    Type: Standard
    Scope: International
  • Guidelines for the conduct of benthic studies at aggregate dredging sites
    Type: Guideline
    Scope: National
    Published in: Conduct of surveys at MAE sites (PDF)

    Abstract: These guidelines for the conduct of benthic surveys at commercial aggregate extraction sites have been produced in response to the rapid increase in survey work for Environmental Statements to accompany dredging applications, and to impending legislation which will bring extraction activity under statutory control (see Introduction). The guidelines are designed to promote a comprehensive and consistent approach to the assessment of the seabed environment (i.e. sediments and the associated benthic fauna) as part of the planning process and, on granting of a permission to dredge, in response to any monitoring requirements. They have been written by scientists at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) on behalf of the UK Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, who will shortly assume the role of the regulator. Since the inception of the requirement for such benthic surveys, CEFAS, as an Executive Agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), has led on the provision of scientific advice regarding their conduct, as well as carrying out related R&D programmes of a strategic nature in UK waters. The production of these guidelines was overseen by a Steering Group, membership of which is given at Annex I.

    The increased demand for evaluations of environmental status at and around aggregate extraction sites, whether for Environmental Statements prepared by the industry or in connection with R&D and monitoring programmes, spans a period of less than ten years. Historically, the scientific study of coarser substrata has presented a significant challenge, largely on account of the difficulties in obtaining reliable quantitative samples. As a consequence, information on the nature and distribution of benthic assemblages, and on their wider role in the marine ecosystem, is considerably more limited than in areas of soft sediments.

    Developments in sampling practices, such as the use of acoustic techniques for accurate discrimination of substratum type, thereby allowing inferences to be made concerning biological status, are proceeding rapidly. At the same time, there is increasing emphasis in national and international fora on the development of more holistic (ecosystem-level) approaches to marine environmental management, including evaluations of the scope for ‘cumulative’ or ‘in-combination’ effects. Given this, a question may reasonably be asked as to the correct timing for the production of study guidelines. In terms of the operational need for greater consistency in sampling and analytical approaches the answer is, unquestionably, now. However, a document of this nature cannot anticipate with certainty the consequences of all ongoing R&D effort, or of future developments in environmental policy, in specifying present requirements for the conduct of routine benthic surveys. The account therefore serves a dual purpose, namely the provision of guidance on established approaches accompanied, where appropriate, by evaluations of the .state of the art. Of parallel developments in UK methodologies which may influence the direction of future studies. It is recommended that the guidance is updated at appropriate intervals toincorporate significant improvements to current practices arising from such developments. Finally, this document is targeted at experienced marine scientists (especially benthic ecologists, sedimentologists and geophysicists) working on behalf of the industry or the regulator in the conduct of R&D or, more usually, on the implementation of environmental assessment and monitoring programmes. However, it is not intended as a substitute for appropriate consultation at critical stages in the environmental assessment process. This is especially true at the initial design stage, when the guidelines contained herein are adapted to meet the circumstances prevailing at individual sites.

  • SOP for the collection of macrofaunal samples using a 0.1m2 Hamon grab
    Type: SOP
    Scope: Institutional
    Category: Sampling - Macrofauna - Grabbing - Sediment
    Attribute: Grab type -> Hamon
    Attribute: Grab area -> 1m˛
    Attribute: Sieve size -> 1mm
    Used in: Cross Sands broadscale survey 1998
    Published in: CEFAS SOP 1380 1 1.0 Hamon grabbing (PDF)

    Abstract: Sediments, and particularly the associated benthic fauna, can act as a useful indicator of environmental disturbance and as a result samples are routinely collected for analysis of a wide variety of biological and physical determinants. The choice of sampling device depends on a number of factors, although the primary consideration is the nature of the sediment to be samples.

    Many samplers (e.g. Day grab and Box corer) are unsuitable for use in gravely sediments as coarse particles of sediment prevent the effective operation of the devices resulting in a loss of sampled material. However, the Hamon grab (Oele, 1978), has proved to be an effective sampler of coarse sediments.The grab consists of a rectangular frame forming a stable support for an articulated sampling bucket. On reaching the seabed, tension in the wire is released allowing uncoupling of the release hook. This allows the lifting arm to rotate through 90° driving the bucket laterally through the sediment. At the end of its movement, the bucket locates on a rubber-covered steel plate, sealing the bucket mouth completely, and preventing any wash-out of sample material.

    The small Hamon grab routinely used by Cefas samples an area of 0.1 m2 and penetrates up to 15 cm into the seabed. Lead weights can be attached to frame of the grab, allowing greater penetration of the sediment, and should be adjusted according to the prevailing substratum type. A larger version of the same device, sampling an area of 0.25 m2, is available for use in certain circumstances, but the smaller version has now been adopted for general use because of its versatility and ease of handling.

    The aim of the grabbing operation is to collect representative samples of coarse sediments. Each sample will be analysed for both its physical properties (particle size distribution) and its biotic content (abundance and/or biomass of infauna). This device is routinely used for sampling gravely sediments in the vicinity of marine aggregate extraction sites in order to assess the biological and physical impacts of such activities.

    Procedure author: Roger Coggan
    Version: 1
    Use: Current
    Date: 11 April 2006
  • Processing 2-metre beam trawl samples
    Type: SOP
    Scope: Institutional
    Category: Sampling - Macrofauna - Trawling - Sediment
    Attribute: Beam length -> 2m
    Published in: CEFAS SOP 1385 1.0 2m Beam Trawling (PDF)

    Abstract: A 2-m beam trawl is an effective gear for sampling epibenthic megafauna from discrete sites, and is usually used as part of a suite of sampling gears (including grabs, dredged and larger 'commercial' sized trawls) for assessing marine benthos. It is not suitable for targeting small- and medium-bodied demersal fish, which are better sampled using a 4m-beam trawl. Several species of invertebrates are sampled effectively by both 2- and 4-metre beam trawls so it is desirable to have compatible SOPs for these gears

    Procedure author: Roger Coggan
    Version: 1
    Use: Current
    Date: 28 October 2005
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