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Baseline Surveys
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Baseline marine benthic surveys and monitoring in Maltese shallow coastal waters

Data on the distribution and spatial extent of marine benthic assemblages and habitats are lacking for the Maltese Islands. However, during the past ten years, members of the Department of Biology have participated in a large number of environmental impact assessment studies, baseline surveys and environmental monitoring programmes. These studies, which mainly employ SCUBA diving and remote data collection techniques have served to:
(i) Construct large scale maps showing the distribution and spatial extent of important coastal biotopes and habitats (e.g. Posidonia oceanica beds);
(ii) Detect the presence of exotic species (e.g. Red Sea immigrants such as the alga Caulerpa racemosa which was recorded from Malta for the first time in 1997);
(iii) Acquire information on the state of marine benthic assemblages and habitats, especially those threatened by human activities;
(iv) Build an inventory of marine plant and animal species around Malta’s coasts;
(v) Collect data on the distribution and abundance of marine benthic fauna and flora in the Maltese Islands.

A SCUBA diver swimming above a transition zone between a community of photophilic algae and that of meadows of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica, at a depth of 5m. 

1..Scuba

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Last Updated: 14 October 2010

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