ANNEX F. SEABED MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT - ecasa

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ANNEX F. SEABED MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT - ecasa

Regulation and monitoring of marine cage fish farming in Scotland - a procedures manual Page 1 of 8ANNEX F. Seabed Monitoring and AssessmentANNEX F. SEABED MONITORING AND ASSESSMENTANNEX F. SEABED MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT......................................... 1F.1 INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................. 2F.2 SURVEY STRATEGIES....................................................................................... 2F.2.1 Standard Baseline Survey .......................................................................... 3F.2.2 Extended Baseline Survey.......................................................................... 3F.2.3 Visual Monitoring Survey ............................................................................ 3F.2.4 Standard Monitoring Survey ....................................................................... 4F.2.5 Extended Monitoring Survey....................................................................... 4F.2.6 Site Specific Monitoring Survey .................................................................. 4F.3 APPLICATION SURVEY REQUIREMENTS ........................................................ 4F.4 CONSENTED SELF-MONITORING REQUIREMENTS....................................... 5F.5 SEPA AUDIT MONITORING................................................................................ 6F.6 ASSESSING MONITORING RESULTS............................................................... 6F.6.1 Qualitative Standards ................................................................................. 6F.6.2 Quantitative Standards ............................................................................... 6F.7 DETAILS OF METHODS...................................................................................... 6F.7.1 Position Fixing ........................................................................................... 6F.7.2 Quantitative Biology................................................................................... 7F.7.3 Chemical Analysis and Visual Assessment ............................................... 7F.7.4 Visual Surveys ........................................................................................... 7F.7.5 Biological Data Analysis............................................................................. 7F.7.6 In-feed Chemo-therapeutants.................................................................... 8F.7.7 Antimicrobials ............................................................................................ 8F.8 SUGGESTED READING...................................................................................... 818 May 2005 Scottish Environment Protection Agency Version 1.2


Regulation and monitoring of marine cage fish farming in Scotland - a procedures manual Page 2 of 8ANNEX F. Seabed Monitoring and AssessmentF.1 INTRODUCTIONThe environmental effects of marine cage fish farming are generally most prevalentwithin close proximity to the cage groups. These impacts, predominantly on thebenthos, may be long lived at sites in quiescent waters or, at more dynamic sites,relatively short lived. Consequently, much of the research activity into these impactshas concentrated on the immediate local environment. Monitoring strategies toassess the ‘health’ of the benthos surrounding proposed and existing fish farms havebeen designed to examine this risk to the local environment.Although there is considerable effort and research into the detailed biology andchemistry of changes within the sediment, various easily measured parameters maybe used to determine degree and extent of risk. These are based on welldocumentedconsequences of organic impacts from fish farms and other discharges.SEPA considers that the most appropriate method for assessing the benthic impactsof marine cage farms is to examine a number of parameters, which describe thebiological and physico-chemical status of the seabed. Additionally, the use ofunderwater video and still photographs may provide information on the extent ofgross impacts, the location of previous cage positions or effects on hard substrate.However, its value is limited when attempting to determine the extent of impactbeneath the sediment surface.The requirements of CoPA application and consent monitoring surveys depend on:• consented peak biomass of the farm site,• hydrographic conditions,• natural heritage interests and other environmental concerns,• use of chemotherapeutants and medicines, and• site management and history.A combination of self-monitoring (data provided by the discharger) and auditmonitoring (data gathered by SEPA) will be applied to the industry.F.2 SURVEY STRATEGIESThe monitoring strategies for the surveys are presented below. The survey protocolfor each one is provided in detail for SEPA staff in the templates section of QWeb.On completion of these surveys, the data, once received by the local EPI team, areforwarded to the Marine Science section for assessment.6 categories of survey apply:F.2.1 Standard Baseline SurveyF.2.2 Extended Baseline SurveyF.2.3 Visual Monitoring SurveyF.2.4 Standard Monitoring Survey18 May 2005 Scottish Environment Protection Agency Version 1.2


Regulation and monitoring of marine cage fish farming in Scotland - a procedures manual Page 3 of 8ANNEX F. Seabed Monitoring and AssessmentF.2.5 Extended Monitoring SurveyF.2.6 Site Specific Monitoring SurveyThe recommended tonnage thresholds given below are merely for guidance and apragmatic approach should be taken to deciding which survey type is mostapplicable, e.g. if an application is received for 995T, it is treated as >1000T.F.2.1 Standard Baseline SurveyThe Standard Baseline Survey should be conducted at proposed new sites where themaximum biomass applied for is 1000T.• It should also be undertaken at sites of lower maximum biomass where moredetailed data are required, For any sites where more detailed data arerequired, e.g. in or near areas containing statutory natural heritagedesignations (such as SAC or SPA sites), where there may be UKBAPinterests, where the Nature Conservation Act (Scotland) 2004 may apply, orwhere there are other local environmental concerns. See SEPA NaturalHeritage Handbook Section 3.3 and Regulation and Monitoring of Marine CageFish Farming in Scotland - a procedures manual, Section C.For CoPA application purposes, this survey is required once only in this form andshould be accompanied by collection and submission of appropriate hydrographicdata for the site (see Attachment VIII).F.2.3 Visual Monitoring SurveyA visual seabed survey may provide sufficient information to describe the benthicenvironment under the following circumstances:• For existing smaller sites (


Regulation and monitoring of marine cage fish farming in Scotland - a procedures manual Page 4 of 8ANNEX F. Seabed Monitoring and AssessmentF.2.4 Standard Monitoring SurveyThe Standard Monitoring Survey should be conducted at existing sites where theconsented maximum biomass is 1000T.It should not be used at sites consented using the AutoDEPOMOD model for settingbiomass and determining the edge of the AZE. In such instances, the site specificmonitoring survey set out in F2.6 should be used.It should also be undertaken at sites of lower maximum biomass where more detaileddata are required:• For any sites where more detailed data are required, e.g. in or near areascontaining statutory natural heritage designations (such as SAC or SPA sites),where there may be UKBAP interests, where the Nature Conservation Act(Scotland) 2004 may apply, or where there are other local environmentalconcerns. See SEPA Natural Heritage Handbook Section 3.3 and Regulationand Monitoring of Marine Cage Fish Farming in Scotland - a proceduresmanual, Section C, and• Where there is considered to be sufficient environmental pressure (site history,management issues, low flushing rates, Dissolved Oxygen issues, etc.).F.2.6 Site Specific Monitoring SurveyThe Site Specific Monitoring Survey should be conducted at existing sites which areconsented under the modelled biomass/AZE system.The data from this survey may also be used in support of an application to increasethe proposed maximum biomass.F.3 APPLICATION SURVEY REQUIREMENTSTo assist in the full decision-making process for applications in respect of new farms,and to increase biomass at existing farms, SEPA must be in possession of recentrelevant site data, which is used to inform the consenting process.The choice of strategy is flexible and the frequency and intensity of surveys may beincreased or decreased in proportion with the environmental risk. This approachshould also take account of local issues that might affect the degree of risk to the18 May 2005 Scottish Environment Protection Agency Version 1.2


Regulation and monitoring of marine cage fish farming in Scotland - a procedures manual Page 5 of 8ANNEX F. Seabed Monitoring and Assessmentsite, such as site dynamics, low current speeds, nutrient stress, history of algalblooms, poor site management.When an application is received for a new cage site, SEPA requires sufficientinformation to enable categorisation/assessment of the benthic environment. Thisinformation is used to:• assess the existing benthic conditions and allow comparisons with backgroundconditions,• permit future comparison of benthic conditions after farming has commenced,and• assist with the process of determining the appropriate maximum biomass forthe site.Where a consent has been issued, self-monitoring data will be used:• to determine whether sufficient sediment re-worker species are present tosupport an increase in biomass or use of medicines,• to determine the quantity of in-feed sea lice medicines residues in thesediment, if consented, and• to build up a site history in order to make properly informed decisions for futureCoPA applications.Data submitted may be from a survey carried out as part of the application for aCoPA consent, or as a monitoring condition within an existing consent for the site.These data will be obtained from one of the 6 strategies listed in Section F.2.The survey should have been carried out not more than 24 months prior to theapplication. If the applicant wishes to include a survey that is out with this period,then Marine Science should be contacted to discuss the appropriateness of thesurvey.In addition, where a site is located in an area of natural heritage interest, e.g. SAC,then SEPA reserves the right to seek additional data over and above that given in theroutine strategies. Marine Science should be contacted to discuss suitable additionalmonitoring requirements.F.4 CONSENTED SELF-MONITORING REQUIREMENTSThe CoPA consent will contain monitoring requirements in the Annex to Schedule 3.The choice of survey that may be used is listed in Section F.2Note that on occasion, a visual survey may also be required in addition to the benthicsurvey. Advice will be given by Marine Science or local SEPA staff.18 May 2005 Scottish Environment Protection Agency Version 1.2


Regulation and monitoring of marine cage fish farming in Scotland - a procedures manual Page 6 of 8ANNEX F. Seabed Monitoring and AssessmentF.5 SEPA AUDIT MONITORINGSEPA benthic audit monitoring will be undertaken as a rolling programme, targetingpriority areas or areas considered more at risk either due to farm size or localhydrography or natural heritage issues. SEPA audit monitoring includes additionalparameters to those sought for self-monitoring.SEPA audit monitoring includes: underwater camera, benthic faunal communityassessment, sediment chemistry (redox, sulphide levels, copper and zinc levels andanalysis for the full suite of medicines), particle size analysis, visual assessment ofsediment structure, presence of feed pellets and Beggiatoa growth. Samples arecollected near the cages, at the edge of the allowable zone of effect (AZE) and atreference sites.SEPA carries out monitoring of seabed sediments to assess any unconsented useand impacts of chemical therapeutants on the receiving environment and to validatethe mathematical predictions of DEPOMOD. Residues samples are collected atselected sites and analysed for cypermethrin, azamethiphos, teflubenzuron andemamectin benzoate and any other compounds thought necessary, e.g. ivermectin.F.6 ASSESSING MONITORING RESULTSThe data resulting from the above sampling and analysis programmes are assessedwith reference to the quality standards given in Annex A of the Fish Farm ProceduresManual.F.6.1 Qualitative StandardsDeposits of feed pellets (not single pellets) and bacterial mats shall not extendbeyond the allowable zone of effects. There should not be heavy deposits of feedpellets under the cages.F.6.2 Quantitative StandardsSee Annex A, Table A7.F.7 DETAILS OF METHODSInformation on some of the methods to be used is outlined below. Further details arepresented in the monitoring protocols appended to the end of this annex.F.7.1 Position FixingAccurate position fixing is essential in order to:• know exactly where sampling equipment is deployed and where sampling istaking place,• accurately relate the data obtained to distances from present or former cagepositions,• accurately relate the consented cage location with the actual position, and18 May 2005 Scottish Environment Protection Agency Version 1.2


Regulation and monitoring of marine cage fish farming in Scotland - a procedures manual Page 7 of 8ANNEX F. Seabed Monitoring and Assessment• to relate modelled predictions of deposition or derived indices to actual surveydata.F.7.2 Quantitative BiologyThe effects of organic or toxic materials, including wastes from cage fish farming, arereadily reflected by the infaunal community (as measured by the fauna retained by a1mm sieve). This is because the benthic fauna is in dynamic equilibrium with theenvironment and thus changes in the faunal communities will reflect the degree ofimpacts from anthropogenic and natural causes and can be used to set targets oraction levels to protect the receiving environment.Detailed methods are available in the SEPA Q-Pulse quality system or may beobtained on application to SEPA.F.7.3 Chemical Analysis and Visual AssessmentDetailed methods are available in the SEPA Q-Pulse quality system or may beobtained on application to SEPA.F.7.4 Visual SurveysVideo and photographic surveys can be used to assess the surface of the seabed inthe vicinity of the cages and to detect organic pollution. The Shetland Islands Councildeveloped these protocols in 1989 using underwater photographs. More recentlyvideo film taken by divers or remotely operated vehicles has replaced somephotographic records.Certain indicators of organic pollution can be detected by visual surveys, e.g. thepresence of mats of bacteria (Beggiatoa) or uneaten food pellets, which may be usedas criteria for action levels. The presence or absence of large epifauna can beobserved but is not reliable as an assessment criterion because epifauna can besparse even on a clean seabed. Video or photographic surveys may provide anindication of the condition of the surface of the seabed but cannot be used todescribe the condition of the underlying sediment. This may appear normal (e.g. ifthe site is fallowed) but actually be anoxic underneath. Therefore, it should be bornein mind that visual surveys are useful in identifying gross superficial effects only.The images can be viewed immediately and thus reporting times can be short.However analysis of video and photographs is subjective and the standards appliedare for gross pollution. Where the quality of video and photos submitted are poor theoperator should be advised of the problem and requested, in writing, to repeat thesurvey by the EPI team.F.7.5 Biological Data AnalysisThe analysis of quantitative biological data using appropriate numerical and statisticalmethods is crucial to the assessment of data obtained from monitoring.Unprocessed biological data usually consist of matrices containing abundances ofspecies (or taxa) at sampling stations, or alternatively they consist of abundance ofspecies at one sampling station over time. These data require further analysis to aid18 May 2005 Scottish Environment Protection Agency Version 1.2


Regulation and monitoring of marine cage fish farming in Scotland - a procedures manual Page 8 of 8ANNEX F. Seabed Monitoring and Assessmentinterpretation, to simplify presentation and for comparison with environmentalbiological standards.F.7.6 In-feed Chemo-therapeutantsAnalytical Methods:Calicide TM - Detailed methods are available from Nutreco Ltd.Slice TM - Detailed methods are available from Schering- Plough.F.7.7 AntimicrobialsThe use of antimicrobials is declining across the industry but it is possible that someinformation could be required by SEPA on environmental concentrations.F.8 SUGGESTED READINGAllen, S.F., Grimshaw, H.M., Parkinson, J.A. & Quimby, C. (1974) ChemicalAnalysis of Ecological Material, 1st edn. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford,UKBuchanan, J.B, 1984. Sediment Analysis. In Methods for the Study of MarineBenthos. 2 nd Edition. Ed N A Holme & A D McIntyre. IBP Handbook No 16.Blackwell Scientific.Carr, M R 1996. PRIMER Users Manual. Plymouth Marine Laboratory.Moss, D., Furse, M.T., Wright, J.F., and Armitage P.D. 1987. The Prediction ofMacro-invertebrate fauna of unpolluted running sites in Great Britain usingEnvironmental Data. Freshwater Biology 17. 41-52.Pearson, T H and Rosenberg, R 1978. Macrobenthic Succession in Relation toOrganic Enrichment and Pollution of the Marine Environment. Oceanography andMarine Biology Annual Review. 16, 229-311.Pielou, EC (1975) Ecological Diversity. Pub Wiley, New York. 165pp.Rees, H. L, Moore, D.C, Pearson, T.H, Elliot, M, Service, M, Pomfret, J andJohnson, D 1990. Procedures for the Monitoring of Marine Benthic Communities atUK Sewage Sludge Disposal Sites. Dept of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland.Scottish Fisheries Information Pamphlet No 18. 79pp.Shilabeer, N. 1992. The Use of a Mathematical Model to Compare Particle SizeData Derived by Dry Sieving and Laser Analysis. Estuarine and Coastal ShelfScience. 35, 105-111.Siegel S and Castellan N J. 1988. Nonparametric Statistics for Behavioral Sciences.2 nd Edition. Pub McGraw-Hill International.Warwick, R M and Clarke K R 1991. A Comparison of Some Methods for AnalysingChanges in Benthic Community Structure. J Mar biol Ass UK. 71, 225-244.18 May 2005 Scottish Environment Protection Agency Version 1.2


Regulation and monitoring of marine cage fish farming in Scotland - a procedures manual Page 9 of 8ANNEX F. Seabed Monitoring and AssessmentWord, J Q (1978) The Infaunal Trophic Index. Coastal Water Research ProjectAnnual Report. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, El Segundo,CA 19-39.WRC 1992. (Codling & Ashley) Development of a Biotic Index for the Assessment ofPollution Status of Marine Benthic Communities. SNIFFER report by WRc, ReportNo NR 3102/1.18 May 2005 Scottish Environment Protection Agency Version 1.2

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