Succeeding in any environment

BMT’s team of aquatic scientists work across the continuum of offshore marine, coastal, rivers and wetland environments in both temperate and tropical climates. Our multidisciplinary team of aquatic scientists provide our clients an integrated in-house capacity for assessing ecological, water and sediment quality issues in marine and aquatic environments.

Contact Us

Key contact

Chris Batten

Director of Sales, Environment and Infrastructure

Perth, Australia

+61 (0) 8 6163 4900

Marine and aquatic environment management

Working across the continuum of offshore marine, coastal, rivers and wetland environments in both temperate and tropical climates, BMT’s expert environmental scientists and ecologists understand that maintaining environmental quality requires an understanding of the species and habitats that are present but also the underlying physical and chemical ecosystem processes that drive and determine habitat suitability.

Our multidisciplinary approach across relevant scientific fields, benefits our clients and their projects by providing an integrated in-house capacity for assessing ecological, water and sediment quality issues in marine and aquatic environments.


Crawford Bay 099 - Aquaculture


From modelling environmental carrying capacity through to offering practical management tools, we provide aquaculture customers with end-to-end, integrated solutions. Whether mapping the sea floor or estimating the benthic footprint and nitrogen carrying capacity of the local marine environment, we have evolved services that are not only highly innovative: they are immediately practical and relevant. Our team, for example, has developed an environmental modelling package encompassing 3D-hydrodynamic, water quality, particle transport and sediment biogeochemical models (AquaDEEP). When coupled with relevant site-specific information, AquaDEEP allows us to predict the impact of sea-cage operations, sea-floor recovery timelines and optimise water quality conditions for enhanced production.

Our approach to aquaculture development encompasses three stages: mapping, modelling and management. 

Mapping: Site selection is critical to sustainable aquaculture development. We use custom spatial modelling tools and GIS mapping technologies to determine the suitability, depth and habitat complexity of potential sites.

Modelling: BMT has invested heavily in the development of integrated modelling products for the aquaculture industry (AquaDEEP).  AquaDEEP provides capacity to estimate the environmental footprint of farms based on local hydrodynamics, feed inputs, and relevant environmental cause-effect pathways.  AquaDEEP is assisting a range of government and industry-based clients in Australia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with decisions regarding placement of infrastructure and the management of proposed operations.

Management: BMT is an industry leader in the development and application of environmental management frameworks for the aquaculture industry, from low-impact sea-ranching operations to major off-shore sea-cage developments.

Marine habitat mapping

Successful marine and aquatic management is underpinned by understanding of the extent, and sensitivity of local marine habitats. Our high quality marine habitat maps are produced by remote sensing specialists, in consultation with our team of benthic marine ecologists. Depending on the depth and clarity of the water, mapping is undertaken using imagery (aerial or satellite) or hydroacoustic data (sidescan or multibeam backscatter), together with groundtruthing utilising towed video, RoV mounted video, or spot dives). 

Rapid response surveys

BMT has the experience and resources to respond rapidly to emergency situations including ship groundings, and unplanned discharges. Our team of experts remain on standby for a range of maritime industry clients and have the skills and expertise to design monitoring programs and collect meaningful data, no matter the size of the emergency nor the remoteness of the impacted area.

Water and sediment quality

Our experts understand the complexities of water quality and sediment dynamics and use their knowledge to help you develop effective strategies to identify, monitor, measure, manage and mitigate changes in the environment.

Our understanding of environmental quality guidelines, standards and trigger values support compliance and smarter decision making. This together with our ability to separate environmental impacts from background noises, allows us to develop programmes which balance sensitivity and cost, and which provide precise measurements of environmental stressors: toxicants (and toxicity), nutrients, organics, pesticides, herbicides, PFAS and hydrocarbons.

Marine ecology

Our marine biologists and quantitative ecologists are experts in the design, implementation and interpretation of marine flora and fauna surveys and monitoring programmes. Our staff have years of industry experience, which translates to survey designs and monitoring programmes that are of the highest scientific quality and support regulatory approvals.

We offer the following marine flora and fauna survey design, implementation and analysis services:

  • Seagrass coverage and health
  • Macroalgal coverage and health
  • Mangrove coverage and health
  • Coral coverage and health
  • Seagrass meadow rehabilitation
  • Community and biochemical analyses including the use and interpretation of stable isotope analysis
  • Marine growth assessments on offshore installations
  • Marine fish and benthic (bottom) fauna surveys
  • Marine megafauna observations and surveys for cetaceans, turtles and similar species of conservation significance
  • Marine pest inspections and assessments

Aquatic and catchment ecology

Healthy catchments, watersheds and adjacent wetland and riparian vegetation areas are essential to healthy aquatic ecosystems.

For these critical environments, we offer the following flora and fauna survey design, implementation and assessment services:

  • Instream flora (macrophyte) and fauna (invertebrate and fish) surveys
  • Stream habitat quality assessments using domestic and international standards for assessment
  • Wetland mapping and regional biodiversity inventories
  • Riparian and wetland vegetation and fauna surveys
  • Setting limits of acceptable change for underlying ecosystem processes such as hydrology, water quality and sediment quality

Survey and monitoring programme design

We marry the needs of the regulator with the constraints of the customer to create data-driven programmes that support business or governmental objectives while protecting the environment for future generations. We are also experts in the design, execution and interpretation of biological surveys.

Our specialists have designed hundreds of monitoring programmes for a wide range of projects and customers, including:

  • Marine infrastructure including pipelines and ocean outfalls
  • Ports and harbours
  • Off-shore oil and gas installations
  • Dredging and dredge material disposal
  • Oil and gas
  • Mining
  • Aquaculture

Developing environmental management thresholds

A key element in the design of environmental monitoring programmes is determining thresholds, beyond which there is a risk of unacceptable environmental impact. Our expert knowledge and extensive experience means that we understand and identify environmental cause and effect pathways to help you set the right threshold.

Some examples of thresholds and associated sectors that we work for include:

  • Aquaculture
    • Sediment infauna - based on organic carbon deposition rates
    • Phase-shifts from coral to macroalgal dominated communities – based on biologically available nitrogen
  • Desalination and wastewater outlets
    • Coastal macroalgal and marine plant communities - based on biochemical signatures and community composition
    • Physicochemical triggers such as salinity, nutrient and temperature (loads and concentration)
  • Dredging
    • Sediment and light thresholds for benthic communities such as seagrass, corals and spawning fish