Mapping the distribution of benthic biotopes around Thanet coast (ENRR154)

Thanet forms the eastern corner of Kent and is the longest continuous stretch of coastal chalk in Britain. The chalk habitats and their associated communities are very uncommon in Europe and considered to be the best examples of their kind and of the highest international nature conservation importance. In recognition of this conservation value, the area has been put forward as a proposed Special Area for Conservation (pSAC) under the EC Habitats and Species Directive. Thanet was surveyed by the BioMar team from May 10-12, 1995 to determine the main habitats and if possible, the offshore extent of the chalk reefs. The following data were obtained from this survey:

*the area surveyed extended from Ramsgate to Birchington, to an approximate offshore limit of 5km;

  • video samples were collected from 10 sites;
*20 sites were surveyed by scuba diving;
  • 5 generic biotopes, with 2 minor variations, were identified from these samples.

A map of the predicted biotope distribution based on the acoustic characteristics of the sea bed was prepared for the survey area. Any reference to this map must make clear that these distributions were a prediction, and all judgements based on this map must take account of the limitations of the mapping technique.

A printed copy of this report is available from our Enquiry Service. Tel: 0845 600 3078 Email:

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ENRR154, PDF, 10.9 MB 2014/05/12


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