Pockmarks may contribute to biological productivity in an area while a sudden release of significant amounts of gas could have a catastrophic effect on biota or nearby structures. As Passamaquoddy Bay is home to a thriving salmon aquaculture industry, it is important to arrive at a better understanding of the biological and geochemical nature of these features and to determine whether or not they are relic features or of recent origin. In order to accomplish this a field program of seafloor surveying and sampling was carried out to address the following ecological questions regarding pockmarks in Passamaquoddy Bay:
- Are the communities of benthic fauna different inside versus outside pockmarks?
- Can the types of benthic communities present determine the relative age of pockmarks?
- Can the mega- and macro- in fauna indicate ecosystem functioning within pockmarks?