This is a baseline sediment grab survey of the Fylde MCZ, undertaking grab samples across the MCZ and to the north and west in order to improve the evidence in the site.
This project undertook a subtidal baseline survey of the Fylde Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) and provided the first comprehensive macrofauna dataset for the site. The key findings of the baseline survey were: 52 faunal samples were collected inside of the MCZ; Subtidal Mud was found to be predominant in the northern quarter of the site, and extended outside of the site boundary to the west, whereas Subtidal Sand was predominant in the southern half of the site. Subtidal 7,239 individuals across 172 taxa were recorded in the grab survey, including the nationally rare hydroid Obelia bidentata inside the site boundary. mud sediments in the north of the survey area were significantly more diverse than the subtidal sand sediments in the south. Infaunal quality index (IQI) classifications showed that both the Subtidal sand and Subtidal mud broadscale habitats inside the MCZ were assessed at good ecological status, which could be considered equivalent to favourable condition. The results of the study will be used to detect macrofauna community change over time and support future monitoring.