Poole Harbour macroalgal harvest – pilot study design
Ricardo was commissioned by the Environment Agency to evaluate the detrimental growth of Ulva spp. in Poole Harbour as a result of excessive nutrient input from the harbour catchment.
The study aimed to appraise candidate macroalgal harvest techniques for use in Poole Harbour, assessing the feasibility of techniques against the likely impact on the benthos (i.e. those invertebrates such as crustaceans that live on or in the surface sediment (the benthic zone)) and bird communities, and the associated cost of implementation.
Ricardo undertook a detailed desk study to determine an ecological baseline and likely impacts of all scoped harvesting technologies.
Based on data available and expert knowledge, outline costs were provided for different options. On the basis of cost, feasibility and ecological assessment, a pilot study area was proposed to support the Environment Agency in assessing the feasibility and ecological impact of three top-ranked harvest methods.