Marine Ecological Surveys and Assessment

Our highly experienced team delivers efficient, cost effective and scientifically robust marine ecological survey and assessment services, offering specialist expertise in near-shore sub-tidal and inter-tidal habitats. Sectors we service include utilities, manufacturing, oil and chemical, construction, port operation and environmental regulation.

Rocky shore surveys Southwest UKOver the past 30 years we have worked in most areas of the UK undertaking surveys ranging from habitat mapping and protected habitat and/or species surveys, to ecological impact assessments of effluent discharges or accidental spills.

Our services include specialist consultancy, survey design, fieldwork, laboratory analysis of benthic macrofauna, contaminants analysis, data analysis/interpretation and reporting. Such assessments are often multifaceted and in many cases (e.g. dredging impact assessments, coastal development) involve hydrographic surveys, hydrodynamic modelling (e.g. plume dispersion modelling), contaminant assessment (sediment, water or biota) alongside ecological monitoring (e.g. inter-tidal or sub-tidal benthic flora and/or fauna surveys).

To facilitate these marine ecological surveys we have a large array of specialist equipment including a four man hovercraft, 3 boats and a wide variety of dedicated scientific instrumentation. We own a range of sediment grabs and corers for sampling benthic macrofauna and contaminants as well as water sampling equipment and HD drop down/towed video equipment.

Data handling, statistical analysis, interpretation and reporting

Typically, the data obtained from the surveys and associated physio-chemical and biological analyses are collated prior to statistical analysis using both uni-variate and multi-variate (PRIMER) statistical techniques. The results are fully interpreted and the implications of the findings discussed in relation to the aims of the survey and the project as a whole. For many applications (such as site condition monitoring, Phase 1 ecological assessments and habitat mapping surveys), the results are also displayed using GIS.

ApplicationsMarine ecology survey techniques

  • Ecological Impact Assessments
  • EIA Planning of coastal developments or port improvements
  • Dredging impact assessments
  • Environmental Statement production
  • Marine Licence applications
  • Assessment of Ecological Status according to the Water Framework and Habitats Directives
  • Site Condition Monitoring
  • Assessment of the effects of operations and incidents
  • Environmental permitting.


  • Phase I and Phase II Habitat Surveys
  • Biotope Mapping and Reporting.
  • Subtidal surveys:
    • Benthic Sampling ( macrobenthos and epibenthos)
    • Diving Surveys
    • Drop down and towed video
  • Inter-tidal surveys including rocky shore, mudflats and sandflats
  • Benthic Macrofauna Analysis
  • Protected species/habitat assessments
  • Seagrass surveys
  • Macroalgae surveys
  • Saltmarsh surveys 
  • Fish surveys
  • Water and sediment sampling
  • Plankton sampling
  • Research experiments
  • Particle size analysis