The goal of this monitoring is to investigate the new biotope that is created by the offshore windmills. Therefore the colonization of the foundations and scour protection of the windmills by epifauna and fish will be closely monitored. As will the effects on the soft substrates around the windmills. The sampled data must enable to work out differences and resemblances with other windfarms (also abroad) and with natural hard substrates.
The following subhabitats will be monitored: the scour protection (HARD ER), the fouling on the foundations in the subtidal area (HARD SUB), the fouling on the foundations in the intertidal area (HARD INT) and the associated fish fauna (VIS).
- To monitor the fouling on the hard substrates several quantitative and qualitative methods will be used. Samples will be taken at fixed distances along a transect complemented with photographic records and video surveys (counts, census).
- Aside the quantitative samples with sampling frames, the divers will determine the epifauna and fish fauna along a transect.
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