Report 595
Marine Conservation Zone Benthic Community Analysis
Sotheran, I., Welch, R., Benson, A. & Jones, L.
This report provides details for the common methodology and approach which was adopted for the community analysis. This includes methods for the data handling and analysis of infaunal and epifaunal datasets, how the epifaunal data was used to support the infaunal analysis and how any associated geophysical acoustic data were used to provide contextual information.



JNCC commissioned a range of research to collect information on the marine environment within offshore Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs).  These data were gathered to provide evidence to underpin the MCZ designation or site recommendation.  Surveys were undertaken to characterise the seabed habitats and their associated communities and enable broad-scale mapping to inform decisions for marine nature conservation.

Seven of the MCZ sites surveyed were prioritised for biotope classification using benthic community statistical analysis. 

The MCZ/rMCZ Sites analysed were:

  • Holderness Offshore rMCZ
  • Inner Bank rMCZ
  • North-West of Jones Bank MCZ
  • South of the Isles of Scilly rMCZ
  • Farnes East MCZ
  • Greater Haig Fras MCZ
  • Offshore Overfalls MCZ

The data analysed were collected using a combination of benthic grab and towed/dropped down video to obtain infaunal data and epibenthic data.



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ISSN 0963-8901
Please cite as: Sotheran, I., Welch, R., Benson, A. & Jones, L., (2016), Marine Conservation Zone Benthic Community Analysis, JNCC Report 595, ISSN 0963-8901