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TOPIC: Black Bream Survey: Sandown Bay

Black Bream Survey: Sandown Bay 9 years 1 week ago #1

In May 2011, Dr Ken Collins, a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton, carried out a side scan sonar survey of some of the reef systems in the North East corner of Sandown bay. He had been invited to use a Bembridge based boat owned by local angler Alan Deeming with a view to better understanding the distribution of Black Bream in their breeding season.

Dr Collins advised that Black Bream prefer fairly flat rock in relatively shallow water where they form a nest by removing accumulated sediment from the rock surface to form an area of clean rock up to one metre in diameter. He was pleased with the results which revealed several concentrations of significant numbers of these nests. All data was recorded against real time GPS positioning information which will allow for further detailed processing/mapping.

In mid May, Mr Jolyon Chesworth, South East Marine Conservation Manager for the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, followed this up with an underwater survey of the area. He was able to observe & take photos of the nests and close ups of eggs deposited in them.

It is hoped that the information gathered may assist, in the future, with attempts to put in place conservation measures to protect the vulnerable local breeding stock of Black Bream which have been commercially exploited in previous years.

Mr Chesworth has indicated that he feels that “working with the Sea Fisheries would be a good way forward for seeking management of the stock.”

This is a photo taken by Jolyon Chesworth of Bream eggs in one of the nests observed in the survey

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