Benthos monitoring in the marine environment around Ireland since 2002

Data set information

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Data holding centreMarine Institute
CountryIreland  Ireland
Time periodFrom 2002 onwards
Geographical area

Irish Internal Waters; Irish Territorial Sea - 12 Nautical Miles; Irish Exclusive Economic Zone - 200 Nautical Miles; Currently Designated Irish Continental Shelf; Irish Contiguous Zone - 12NM to 24NM


Zoobenthos taxonomy-related ash-free dry weight biomass per unit area of the littoral zone; Zoobenthos taxonomy-related abundance per unit area of the littoral zone; Zoobenthos non taxonomy-related wet weight biomass per unit area of the bed; Seabed photography; Zoobenthos dry weight biomass; Zoobenthos taxonomic abundance; Zooplankton and zoobenthos physiological condition parameters; Zoobenthos taxonomy-related counts; Zoobenthos taxonomy-related wet weight biomass per unit area of the bed; Zoobenthos generic abundance


Benthos samplers; benthic incubation chambers


Benthos is the flora and fauna found on the bottom, or in the bottom sediments, in the marine environment. Data geographic coverage includes Ireland coastline; Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, Saint Georges Channel and North Atlantic Ocean. Benthos monitoring surveys have taken place from 2002 onwards. Data collected using a range of benthos samplers used from Marine Institute research vessel RV Celtic Voyager and a number of different vessels. The seafloor is a very suitable indicator of stresses on the marine environment and can act as an early warning system. These stresses can originate from natural and/or anthropogenic sources. The condition of the seafloor (physical, chemical and biological) has been shown to modify in response to external influences. For example, organic matter falling to the seafloor may increase oxygen demand in the vicinity and stress and/or kill organisms located therein. Benthos monitoring therefore is a good indicator of the condition of the bottom of the marine environment. The Marine Environment and Food Safety Services (MEFSS) Benthos Ecology Group of the Marine Institute (Ireland) has been responsible for the review and assessment of existing and proposed activities that may have an influence on the marine environment and benthos monitoring has been used in reporting under the Water Framework Directive and Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Data collection 100% coverage for the surveys completed since 2002.

OriginatorsMarine Institute
Data web site
OrganisationMarine Institute
ContactFrancis O'Beirne (Team Leader)

Marine Institute
Co. Galway
H91 R673

Collating centreMarine Institute
Local identifierMI_Benthic
Global identifier5741
Last revised2017-12-04