• A Benthic Survey of Inner Bantry Bay

      Neiland, S.; McMahon, T. (Marine Institute, 1999)
      In February 1993 sediment samples were collected from a total of 18 stations in Bantry Harbour, Glengarriff Harbour and along the north shore of Whiddy Island. The samples were analysed for grain size, organic carbon content and the abundance of benthic infauna. The benthic infauna were identified to family level. The sediments in Bantry Harbour and Glengarriff Harbour were comprised of fine particles with typically >80% of the dry weight being in the silt/clay (<63 μm) fraction. In contrast, the sediments close to Whiddy Island contained relatively high amounts of coarser material. In Bantry Harbour a total of 53 families with 742 individuals were identified from the ten stations sampled. Of the 53 families identified, 21 were Polychaeta, 6 Bivalvia, 7 Gastropoda, 3 Echinodermata, and 16 Crustacea. A total of 31 families with 491 individuals were identified from the five stations sampled in the Glengarriff Harbour area. Of these 16 were Polychaeta, 4 were Bivalvia, 3 were Gastropoda, 1 was Echinodermata, and 7 were Crustacea. From the three stations sampled in the vicinity of Whiddy Island 47 families with 461 individuals were identified. Of these 23 were Polychaeta, 8 Bivalvia, 4 Gastropoda, 2 Echinodermata, and 10 Crustacea. In Bantry Harbour and Glengarriff Harbour cirratulid polychaetes were dominant and the benthic infaunal composition was indicative of stressed environmental conditions. In contrast, the sediments close to Whiddy Island exhibited a very healthy faunal composition with no one family predominating and high numbers of amphiuroid echinoderms were recorded from these sampling stations.