IFCA Making Detailed Map Of Scilly’s Seabed

A detailed map of the seabed around Scilly is being produced by the islands’ Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority.

Side-scan sonar technology has been fitted to their RIB, the Matt Lethbridge, to enable acoustic mapping of what lies underwater.

The surveys, accurate to 100m depth, started in August and have been carried out at half tide by ICFA officer Doug Holt. That’s because of our large 6m difference between high and low water.

Wave marks in seabed sand can help map the effect of currents and changes to the tide. The impact of storms can also be identified by the procedure.

The process can also identify reefs and boulders, which provide shelter for crustaceans and fish from the full force of the Atlantic. That information can help map where the fish stocks are and help with conservation planning.