Marine Surveys


Marine survey equipment

Shetland UHI has a proven track record of delivering a wide variety of marine surveys ranging from biological and ecological surveys, fisher and fisheries surveys, and hydroacoustic surveys, as well as hosting 3rd party surveys. Our survey Facilities and equipment include several well equipped research laboratories, survey vessels, and a broad range of survey and sampling equipment to meet your project requirements.

Biological and ecological surveys form a key part of the services offered by Shetland UHI. We have in-house expertise in Marine Ecology, GIS, Habitat and Biotope Mapping, Statistical Analysis, Fisheries, and Aquaculture which all contribute to our survey capability. Our understanding of the marine environment, combined with our state of the art Facilities, enables us to be able to provide a wide skill set of sampling and analysis for your marine project. Our knowledge and expertise cover a wide range of marine environments from the intertidal (rocky and sand habitats and species), plankton sampling and identification, and subtidal species identification and habitats.  Utilising our experience and expertise in the marine environment, combined with the use of our multibeam and drop down video systems, we are able to carry out habitat and biotope mapping to either EUNIS or MNCR classification. For projects requiring subtidal in-faunal benthic surveys, we have a selection of grabs, dependent on your specifications and objectives.

Our survey vessel is fitted with an over the side mount Sub-Bottom Profiler (SBP). Bathymetric data can be collected from close to shore, in water depths of 2 to 200m using our hull mounted multibeam system. Bathymetry and surface hardness (based on the backscatter) can all be exported from the system with analysis and map creation taking place in ArcGIS with displays in both 2D and 3D formats.

All hydroacoustic surveys comply with JNCC advice on marine mammals and are overseen by a JNCC qualified marine mammal observer with an up to date SNH Animal Licence.

Our survey vessel is a suitable platform for hosting 3rd party surveys including bird surveys, video and ROV surveys, sediment sampling surveys, and other hydroacoustic surveys. We can also accommodate third party equipment with a pole mounting (ADCPs or other multibeams for example) using our over-the-side mounted pole system.

Shetland UHI can provide the following marine survey services:

  • Survey Equipment and Vessels
  • Drop Down Video and Photo Analysis
  • Ecological Surveys, including benthic sampling
  • Fisher Surveys
  • Fisheries Surveys and Gear Trials
  • Geophysical Surveys
  • Habitat Mapping and Biotope Coding
  • Histology and Microscopy
  • Intertidal Surveys
  • Species Identification
  • Subtidal Surveys