Benthic monitoring

Filming of the seabed was conducted with a Remote Observation Vehicle (ROV). The seabed was generally uniform at all compliance, internal habitat and control sites. All sites shared the common features of medium to coarse rippled sand, some shell grit and old shells, with a depauperate fauna consisting generally of what appeared to be fine burrows and at times very low profile polychaete tubes. There were occasional Pennatulaceans (Cnidaria) and juvenile Flathead at a number of sites, and the occasional brittle star (ophiuroid), small mollusc, scallop (mostly only dead shells) and amphipod (probably associated with drift algae). Drift red algae was abundant at the control sites decreasing towards the south through the lease area and was absent from the southernmost survey sites. This together with the increase in sediment grain size from north to south may indicate a general trend across the sites. No introduced species were identified from the survey footage.