Part 2 - Independent review of the NMP Verification Programme Process
This independent observer report documents the verification survey and comments on the abovementioned terms of reference. The first verification survey, which dealt with the water column, sediment characteristics, and local oceanographic conditions as well as the benthic macrofauna and meiofauna, was well planned and coordinated. Detailed sampling methods and sample processing were careful chosen to appropriately address and fulfill the comments and concerns that were raised by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) and other stakeholders. Although not all the concerns were dealt with, NMP has striven to address the most critical ones to the best of their ability in a more transparent and practically feasible way. Among the issues, notably the mooring on the seafloor deployed for 90 days, has thus far generated good data for the local oceanographic conditions of the MLA. The use of the Day Grab and the Box-Corer instead of the Van Veen Grab was one of the recommendations, and was implemented during the first verification survey. Reliable data were generated for both benthic macrofauna and meiofauna within the primary dredge target area of SP-1. Verification was done on the sediment characteristics, which have confirmed the area is not within a mudbelt, with very little, or no hydrogen sulphide and organic-rich sediments. In situ measurements of the water column parameters such as oxygen, temperature, pH and salinity were captured using suitable instruments. Issues regarding benthic macrofauna and meiofauna were fully addressed. The sample handling onboard and processing was adequately conducted with care and good workmanship. However, field operations are faced with challenges, the oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) measurements in situ was challenging as the sediment gets exposure to open air. Generally, the whole operation for the first verification survey was successful.
|Independent review of the NMP Verification Programme Process.pdf||2.13 MB|