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Rye Harbour Small Fish Survey

Last year was the 5th year of small fish surveys conducted by the Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority to try and understand the food supplies of our breeding seabirds and also the commercial fish stocks. The fieldwork was assisted by 10 organisations including the Environment Agency, Natural England and Sussex Wildlife Trust.

The Key Findings were: 

  • There was a total of 23 fish species and a total abundance of 501. 
  • Solenette was the most abundant species (28% of total abundance), followed by plaice (21%) and herring (17%). 
  • The average Simpson’s index of diversity was 0.836. The index is a scale of 0 to 1, where 0 represents no diversity and 1 indicates infinite diversity. 
  • One species was new to this survey; smooth hound. 
  • There was a wide diversity of conspicuous non-fish species. 
  • In 2017, Sandwich terns had more fledglings per pair than in 2016, 2014 or 2013 but less than in 2015. 
  • Common terns had more fledglings per pair than in 2016, 2015 and 2013, but less than in 2014. 
  • Little terns had more fledglings per pair than in 2016, 2014 or 2013, but less than in 2015. 
  • The surveys involved 22 people from 10 organisations.

  The 2017 report for Rye Bay and other sites can be found by clicking here.

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