DNA – based methods offer a significant opportunity to change how we monitor and assess biodiversity. These techniques may provide cheaper alternatives to existing species monitoring or an ability to detect species that we cannot currently detect reliably.
However, for most species, there is still much development required before they can be used in routine monitoring. Natural England has been exploring the further use of these methods for environmental monitoring for several years, delivering a series of reports which focus on the development of DNA-based methods with potential in a particular area.
This report presents the development of a technique using eDNA collected by a large-volume marine eDNA sampler deployed on the seabed to detect inshore fish communities. It builds on previous work to explore the special and temporal variation required to detect changes in fish communities, and the use of haplotypes as a promising new technique for assessing the diversity of breeding fish populations.