MESL Out and About

Angie de Burgh gave a talk at Renewable UK’s recent annual conference which was held at the Birmingham NEC. Her talk covered soon to be published research on the use of high resolution, time series acoustic surveys to support environmentally responsible wind farm developments. The talk demonstrated how detailed mapping of Sabellaria spinulosa reefs has provided insight into how this Annex I habitat has responded positively to the construction of the turbine and cable array at Thanet Offshore Wind Farm.
 

The MESL commercial team

MESL Development
The MESL commercial team held an in-house intertidal training workshop for all interested staff members covering the entire process from desk-based reviews and survey planning to on-site surveying and preparation of final reports, ensuring even greater availability of staff for future surveys.
GIS Consultant Jack Pitts also held an in-house  training day teaching  intermediate to advanced GIS techniques. The attending staff developed fundamental GIS skills that enable MESL to provide an extended range of services.

Relief effort in the Philippines

MESL's GIS Consultant Jack Pitts worked with a number of American colleagues to aid the relief effort in the Philippines, post-Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. He and the team set up an Ushahidi deployment to map vital information including school closures, aid stations, access to clean water and even areas of mobile data connectivity. More information on Ushahidi can be found here: http://www.ushahidi.com/
 

MESL go International

Gardline have commissioned MESL’s Laboratory to analyse benthic samples taken off  of the coast of Africa. These samples, taken from oil and gas fields in Morocco and Ghana,  will help to stretch MESL’s expertise across geographies. This allows us to  lay claim to an impressive  portfolio of work which stretches from the Arctic waters of Scotland and Norway in the north through the Shetlands and the Orkney Islands, across the  North Sea, English Channel and Irish Sea to the Mediterranean and the coasts of Africa.

MESL has been appointed by the JNCC

MESL has been appointed by the JNCC to produce a series of Conceptual Ecological Models for shallow sublittoral coarse sediment habitats. The models will detail the links between key ecological components and processes, and will enable a firmer understanding of the natural processes involved in the selected ecosystems, the environmental drivers and the ecosystem services provided in the non-impacted state. Ultimately, the aim is for the models to be used to inform indicator selection for shallow subtidal coarse sediments in future for monitoring purposes.
 

Down to Business

Moving into 2014, MESL has a busy year ahead. Hanson Aggregates Marine Ltd has commissioned MESL to conduct the post-dredge benthic and epibenthic survey and reporting at Licence Areas 202 and 401 in the Anglian Region. We have also been commissioned to prepare a Substantive Review for aggregate extraction Area 481.
MESL has successfully delivered a Five Year Substantive Review of Area 254, known as Cross Sand, reflecting on the second five year dredging period.
 

A Look Through the Microscope

Laboratory Supervisor, Josh Hatton, has recently published a paper in the Marine Biological Association of the UK’s journal Marine Biodiversity Records.

Aggregates Book Launch

In December, the British Marine Aggregate Producers Association (BMAPA) and The Crown Estate, held a seminar and late afternoon reception for the Marine Aggregate Industry Best Practice Launch at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London.
The event was held to celebrate the launch of a major aggregates publication ‘Aggregate Dredging and the Marine Environment: an overview of recent research and current industry practice’, which culminates from nine years’ of research under the Marine Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund (MALSF).

MESL at Westminster

Daniel Brutto attended a Parliamentary and Scientific Committee event at Westminster on December 10th, giving a presentation on the impacts of deep sea mining projects on the marine environment to an audience of MPs, peers and other interested parties. The opportunity to speak within this prestigious forum allowed MESL to further develop their interests and network of contacts in this space, whilst also allowing us to contribute to the development of knowledge of this topic within the UK.

A New Wave: Art and Conservation Science

Fine Artist, Alice White, visited MESL to take a look at marine life under the microscope. Her blog entitled  ‘A New Wave: Art and Conservation Science’ shows some fascinating close up images of marine animals and provides some insightful information on the functions of different organism features. Click here to visit her blog

 

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