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Multibeam survey to adopt cetacean mitigation procedures

A multibeam survey of the Shannon estuary, carried out as part of the Irish National Seabed Survey, will adopt cetacean mitigation procedures to reduce impact on bottlenose dolphins in the estuary.

The Marine Institute (MI) on behalf of the Geological Society of Ireland are currently carrying out an exciting and innovative survey which aims to produce a map of the entire seabed of the state. This involves surveying over 525,000 sq. kms and up to 350 nmls offshore. Acoustic techniques, including the use of deep seismic and multibeam, are used to produce high resolution imagery of the bottom topography and substrate to a depth of over 3000m (see http://www.gsiseabed.ieLink to external site:

In May 2004, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPW) stopped the Marine Institute from carrying out a multibeam survey within the boundary of the Shannon estuary SAC over concerns of the impact on bottlenose dolphins.

At a recent meeting between the Marine Institute, NPW, Irish Whale and Dolphin Group and the SDWF a protocol was adopted to ensure marine mammal monitoring would be carried out and mitigation measures, including the use of soft start, acoustic detection techniques and a 1km buffer zone, implimented.

The meeting was conducted in a strong spirit of co-operation, which is a testamount to the MI and there desire to carry out their work programme in a responsible manner, with due consideration to other marine species and habitats. The survey is now scheduled for November 2005


Special Area of Conservation (SAC)


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The SDWF is supported by the following agencies... Shannon Development Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Marine Institute Clare County Council Kilrush Urban District Counil
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