One of our senior ecologists recently returned from a benthic survey in the Shetland Isles, working alongside SGS on behalf of the Shetland Oil Terminal Environmental Advisory Group (SOTEAG) to determine the status of infaunal communities and seafloor sediments. Benthic monitoring has been carried out biennially in the coastal region of Sullom Voe and neighbouring Orka Voe since 2002, though the area has been subject to investigation for many years preceding this due to the unique marine life found there.
The 2021 survey involved the collection of macrobenthic and intertidal samples for analysis, as well as the collection of sediment samples for contaminant and sediment particle size analysis (PSA). The field work provided a wonderful opportunity to witness some of the incredible marine wildlife that Shetland has to offer such as the sizable ocean quahog (Arctica islandica) pictured below. This species is native to the North Atlantic and the North Sea and can grow to up to 13cm in length.
Upon completion of the sample analysis, a technical report will be produced by Eco Marine covering the macrofaunal aspects of the project before presenting the findings to SOTEAG as part of the long-running multidisciplinary monitoring of the Sullom Voe oil terminal area by SOTEAG.