ArcGIS mapping of Posidonia oceanica meadows around Seawave Fisheries Ltd (800 m radius) using side scan sonar and aerial images complemented by ground-truthing dives

ca 3 months (April 2009 – July 2009)

Funded by:
Seawave Fisheries Ltd

Project Description:
In 2008, Seawave Fisheries Ltd (SW) submitted an EIA to the Department of Environment (DoE) requesting the increase of annual production from 300 to 700 t. The DoE requested from SW to provide complementary information on the protected seagrass Posidonia oceanica. In 2009, MER was contracted by SW to map the spatial distribution of P. oceanica.  The seagrass within an 800 m radius around the farm was mapped using side scan sonar, georeferenced aerial images and ArcGIS software. Ground-truthing dive confirmations were carried out by MER divers and the seagrass densities were investigated at three transects and at increasing distances from the farm. MER presented the study to the DoE which granted the production licence but with the condition of relocating shallow cages to deeper waters and further away from the seagrass P. oceanica.