IFCA To Participate In Innovative Data Logging Project

The Isles of Scilly Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority will take part in a scheme to continually monitor the waters around our islands using innovative data logging technology.

The project, due to last for three years, will record environmental factors such as temperature, light, tidal patterns and salinity of the water.

It will be recorded by special probes fixed to rocks on the seabed with data downloaded every four months.

A report by IFCA Officer, Steve Watt, said there had been an increase of at least 0.5°C in the temperature of he north-east Atlantic over the last twenty years, representing one of the largest increases on a global scale.

Studies have indicated that increases in seawater temperature may result in marked effects in the marine ecology.

The work will be undertaken by Professor Steve Hill from the Marine Department of the University of Plymouth.

He’ll be monitoring the data, as well as looking for increases in non-native and invading species that may be thriving in the changed environment.

The four sites chosen represent a range of marine habitats – two deep water and two others in more shallow areas.

The total cost of the work is expected to be £12,600, with £4,500 coming from Plymouth University, £3,000 from the AONB, £1,000 from the Duchy and £500 from the Diving Partners.

Steve said the work could help to provide data to support the areas chosen as Marine Conservation Zones or MCZs.

The Isles of Scilly has already completed the work to support their chosen MCZs but final approval has been delayed by the Government for 13 months.