Through action A2, the existing data collected through action A1 and the new data collected through two survey expeditions will be analysed and interpreted.
The first analysis will be based on the first data collection exercise carried out through action A1. The aim is to document the suitability, usefulness and quality of existing data and investigate at a broad level the types of habitats present within the 25 nautical mile Fisheries Management Zone surrounding the Maltese Islands. The data collected will enable the identification of likely locations of the habitats under investigation, namely sandbanks, reefs and submerged and semi-submerged caves, as well as the identification of gaps in data and where little information is available. The analysis will thus allow identification of the potential areas hosting the habitats to be surveyed and will result in a broad map with the interpreted habitats and hotspots.
The second analysis will focus on data collected through the initial surveys, to identify habitats of interest, prioritization of protected habitats and to identify remaining gaps and if any additional information on particular sites needs to be collected. This analysis will thus contribute to the second phase of surveying by focusing efforts in specific areas and where key information would still be required.
The third analysis will follow the second surveying phase of action A3. This third data analysis will contribute towards the final assessment of the habitats under study by establishing as much as practically possible the habitat type (as per standard classifications), their location, representativity (excellent, good, significant, non-significant), relative coverage (%, where applicable), degree of conservation (structure, function and restoration possibilities), the type of species assemblages present and any species of particular note, as well as threats and pressures.
A2 phase 1 – Summary Report