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From 1 - 10 / 3379
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    As part of the UK Department of Trade and Industry's (now Department of Energy and Climate Change) ongoing sectorial Strategic Environmental Assessment a seabed survey programme (SEA5) was undertaken between August and early October 2003 for the UKCS areas lying between Scotland and Orkney and Shetland. This report summarises the sediment total hydrocarbon and aromatic data generated from the analyses of selected samples from the study areas detailed: Fair Isle - 46 to 198m water depth; Outer Moray Firth A - 61 to 171m; Outer Moray Firth B - 57 to 100m; Sandy Riddle - 30 to 70m; Smith Bank - 39m; Southern Trench - 76 to 252m.

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    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 the large number of existing conservation sites and potential sites of conservation importance in the SEA3 area of the North Sea. The SEA 3 area displays a wide variety of habitat types, from those of a coastal nature, such as estuarine mudflats and sandflats, saltmarsh, sea cliffs and reef habitats, to those associated with the offshore environment. Some of these habitats are rare in a national and/or international context, and many support important numbers of birds, insects and other animals. Existing coastal and nearshore conservation sites are protected by international, national and local conservation designations. Statutory sites are legally protected whilst non-statutory sites rely on the planning process to confer protection. The UK Government is currently taking steps to implement the EC Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive in offshore waters. A process to designate Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas, both within territorial waters and out to the limits of the UKCS, is under way. Potential offshore conservation sites are reviewed.

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    This report is a contribution to the Department of Trade and Industry's (now Department of Energy and Climate Change) Strategic Environmental Assessment SEA2, which covers the mature oil and gas fields of the Southern, Central and Northern North Sea. The report reviews the impact of human activity on fish and fisheries in the North Sea and is relevant to both SEA 2 and SEA 3 areas. The North Sea is one of the world's most important fishing grounds. In the central and northern parts there is a mixed demersal fishery that targets cod, haddock and whiting; plaice and sole are trawled in the southern and southeastern North Sea; there are extensive pelagic fisheries for herring and mackerel; crustaceans fisheries for Norway lobster, crab and scallop; and industrial fisheries for sandeel and Norway pout. Commercial fishing itself has the highest impact on fish populations. The various impacts of the offshore oil and gas industry (e.g. seismic surveys, drilling discharges, produced water discharges) are classified as intermediate in scale. The biology of the commercially important fish and shellfish that occur in the offshore waters of the North Sea is discussed. Numerous maps, showing the location of spawning activity and the location of fishing effort, are included.

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    This report is a contribution to Strategic Environmental Assessment SEA2 conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (now Department of Energy and Climate Change) and it reviews the distribution and character of pockmarks - shallow seabed depressions - which are common in the area of the North Sea to the north-east of Scotland known as the Fladen Ground. Pockmarks are believed to be produced by the escape of fluids (gas or water, but generally gas in the North Sea) from the seafloor and are found in areas where the seabed sediments are soft, silty clays. Processes of pockmark formation, their geometry, age and distribution, and the sources of gas in the underlying geological strata are discussed. While the great majority of pockmarks are inactive at the present time, a few are observed to be actively seeping gas. In order to provide a stronger basis upon which the significance of pockmarks within mature oil and gas provinces of the North Sea might be assessed, the Department of Trade and Industry commissioned the acquisition of new data directed towards increasing the scientific understanding of sandbanks and pockmarks as part of the SEA2 process. The survey vessel Kommandor Jack was chartered in April 2001 and, among other operations, conducted high-resolution geophysical surveys of pockmarks in the Fladen Ground. Preliminary results from that operation are included in this report.

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    This report describes the processing method employed for the analysis of biological samples from a range of depths in the SEA5 area, North Sea collected from Wessex Explorer in summer 2003 as part of the Department of Trade and Industry's (now Department of Energy and Climate Change) Strategic Environmental Assessment SEA5. A spreadsheet of data is included.

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    This report is a contribution to the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA2) conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (now Department of Energy and Climate Change). SEA2 focuses on the mature areas of the North Sea UK continental shelf which is divided into 3 areas - Northern, Central and Southern North Sea. This paper provides an overview of cephalopods - squid, octopus, cuttlefish in the SEA2 area. Cephalopods are short-lived, carnivorous animals that have rapid growth rates and play an important part in oceanic and coastal food webs. They are preyed on by cetaceans, fish and seabirds, and are predators themselves, feeding on fish, crustaceans, molluscs and cephalopods. Knowledge of cephalopod distribution in Scottish waters is mainly based on information from commercial whitefish vessels that catch squid as a by-catch. The loliginid squid Loligo forbesi is the predominant species. English cephalopod landings are dominated by cuttlefish caught in the English Channel outside the area of interest. The benthic octopod Eledone cirrhosa, though a highly valued species in southern Europe, is usually discarded by fishermen in Scottish waters. Fishery management statistics indicate that the areas of highest abundance of Loligo forbesi and of Eledone cirrhosa lie outside the SEA2 area. Cephalopods naturally accumulate high levels of trace metals. The potential of drilling operations to introduce trace metals into the sea is discussed. It is concluded that the overall impact on cephalopods and cephalopod fisheries in the SEA2 area by further oilfield development would be slight.

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    As part of the Department of Trade and Industry's (now Department of Energy and Climate Change) Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA6) a geophysical survey was undertaken on SV Meridian SEA6 Survey B (or Leg 2) in the Irish Sea between Ireland and the Isle of Man and at the north of Wales. Multibeam, sidescan sonar and chirp seismic data were collected. 11 processed gridded multibeam files are available. Raw data are also available. 11 sidescan mosaic tif files available. Raw seismic data are also available. Cruise reports are available.

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    This report is a contribution to the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA4) conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (now Department of Energy and Climate Change) and it presents results from the macrofaunal analysis of sixty-three macrobenthos samples. The samples were from a range of depths in the SEA4 Northern Triangle area, at the northernmost extent of British waters. Most of the samples were rich in terms of numbers of taxa and individuals and all major benthic invertebrate phyla were represented in the survey. The fauna included several taxa that are likely to be undescribed species and many have been recorded by nominal names. Several groups have also been left at higher taxonomic levels. Data analysis was not included for this part of the project. A preliminary literature list for deep-sea taxonomy was compiled for the project and provided in the report. A spreadsheet of data is also available.

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    As part of the Department of Trade and Industry's (now Department of Energy and Climate Change) Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA6) a seabed sampling, video and geophysical survey was undertaken in the central Irish Sea with specific focus given to areas of Liverpool Bay and Tremadog Bay. The survey objectives were to conduct a strategic environmental study of locations where features of interest had been previously identified by organisations such as the Countryside Council for Wales and the School of Ocean Sciences. Survey operations were focused on the following features: Possible methane-derived carbonate reefs in Cardigan Bay; Gassy Sediments in Tremadog Bay, Biogenic Reefs - Horse mussel beds. 36 video files are available. 186 photographs are available. 52 samples were collected using a Day Grab. A cruise report is available Processed data mosaics are available

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    This report is a contribution to the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA7) conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (now Department of Energy and Climate Change).The purpose of this report is to provide an initial assessment of what is termed the Other Users of the SEA 7 area. These other users include those significant human activities and infrastructure occurring in the marine and coastal zone, and not addressed by other SEA 7 data reports. Fisheries and maritime archaeology (wrecks) are therefore excluded. The report summarises current activity in the area, and where possible discusses likely future trends. It also summarises the relevance of each activity to any future proposed oil and gas activity. Where appropriate, comment is made about the potential sensitivity of an Other User to oil and gas development, or the potential restrictions to oil and gas development presented by existing users.