Envision has a range of equipment which enables the survey of marine habitats covering the continental shelf and are fully conversant with the analysis and interpretation of the data. Envision uses benthic sampling, such as underwater imagery, grab sampling and eDNA collection, in combination with multibeam bathymetric systems, side-scan sonar, single beam echo sounders and acoustic ground discrimination systems. We participate in research programs developing techniques to survey the marine benthic environment. Our knowledge and experience has been invaluable to clients to ensure that surveys deliver outputs which are fit for purpose. Envision staff members are also trained as Marine Mammal Observers, and this service can be provided alongside the surveys that we provide.
Underwater Video Surveys
Underwater video analysis is a sampling technique that can provide semi-quantitative or fully quantitative data for environmental assessment. Having pioneered the use of small dropdown/towed camera systems, Envision has a long history of developing video sampling techniques and protocols for the analysis of seabed imagery, with expertise in taxonomy and species identification, assessment of substrate composition and biotope allocation. In addition to the routine standard high definition systems, we also design small, rugged high quality and high definition camera systems for use in adverse conditions. Envision can also use observation class ROVs to collect underwater video for benthic assessment .
Envision has been at the forefront of habitat mapping for many years, and has participated in national and international initiatives for developing and standardising protocols. We interpret survey data collected either by ourselves or externally and undertake mapping projects employing GIS modelling techniques. Our experience covers a range of marine habitats from temperate to tropical ecosystems.
To reduce the potential transmission of Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS), international best practice and guidance on biofouling includes mitigation measures such as inspections of vessel hulls and other marine infrastructure to assess biofouling and identify the presence of INNS. Envision undertakes surveys, provides guidance and data analysis for vessel operators, ports and harbours, to enable them to meet biosecurity requirements.
Envision undertakes shore surveys to record the intertidal habitats present and any potential features of conservation interest. Aerial imagery and other available information are used to design surveys that are fully representative of the entire site, key intertidal features and biotopes are mapped using GPS and base maps. Species and habitats are recorded in each of the ecological zones encountered, along with reference imagery, and the results detailed in reports, maps and GIS to describe the extent, nature and distribution of the features observed.
A study into potential areas of conservation including the Annex 1 habitats ‘reefs’ and ‘submerged sandbanks’, was performed in conjunction with Entec UK using GIS, desktop reviews and surveys. Results from the analysis of existing data and biological, video and acoustic surveys of the Outer Wash and Greater Thames areas are being fed into the regulatory conservation process.