Sandbank to the East of the Isle of Man (2004 - 2006)


Sands with overlying shell debris (Ensis sp.) and fine gravel containing dead man’s fingers (Alcyonium digitatum), edible crab (Cancer pagarus) and plumose anemone (Metridium senile) © AFBIFine sand with shell and a little mud containing common starfish (Asterias rubens) and Queen scallop (Aequipecten opercularis) © AFBISands with overlying gravel and pebble © AFBI


The aim of this project was to survey and map a sandbank to the east of the Isle of Man within the UK offshore marine area, and to assess the area against the SAC site selection criteria.


Surveying was carried out on three seperate AFBI funded research cruises in November 2004 aboard the RV Lough Foyle, in May 2005 and February 2006 aboard the RV Corystes. In November 2004 the cruise concentrated on collecting grab samples due to poor weather. During May 2005 RoxAnn acoustic data, video and sidescan sonar datasets were collected with additional RoxAnn and sidescan data being collected during the February 2006 cruise. During the February 2006 cruise a remotely operated vehicle was deployed over a small number of sites to complement the video groundtruthing gathered in May 2005.


Final habitat maps were produced by using the acoustic data and groundtruth data. It was found that there were correlations between the infaunal biotopes identified from the grab samples and the RoxAnn acoustic ground type map. Habitat polygons were delineated by hand in GIS to create a series of non-overlapping polygons, each of which were given the relevant biotope code.


The biotopes SS.SMx.CMx.MysThyMx, SS.SSa.IMuSa.EcorEns overlaying SS.SSa.IMuSa.FfabMag, SS.SCS.ICS.MoeVen and SS.SSa.CFiSa.EpusOborApr were found.


Click to download a pdf of the map


Further reading

  • Mitchell, A., Mellor, A., Strong, J., Service, M. 2008. Broadscale seabed habitat survey of a sandbank to the east of the Isle of Man. JNCC Report 409.


Project Partners


If you have any further questions about JNCC's offshore survey work then please contact us.