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Monitoring and mapping the marine environment

Monitoring and mapping the marine environment provides crucial evidence on marine species and habitats.  The evidence gathered underpins decisions on management and use of the offshore environment.  

JNCC plays a key role in monitoring and mapping the marine environment.  Our experts work in partnership with other organisations to undertake offshore seabed surveys and monitor species; and develop standards and guidance to underpin this work.  We also produce habitat maps, to enable a better understanding of the distribution and extent of marine habitats.

Our knowledge and understanding serves to establish sensible approaches to the conservation needs of the marine environment and to ensure better management.


  • CommonSeaUrchin-IsleOfMay ©JamesLynottCreativeCommons

    Develop guidance and standards:  We have developed standards and guidance to ensure consistency and quality control of data gathered and used. As part of this work we have produced the Data Ingestion Protocol.

  • Survey monitoring©JNCC

    Undertake marine offshore surveys: We have dedicated survey teams working, often in collaboration with other organisations, on the collation of existing survey data, and the co-ordination and running new surveys, to provide high-quality evidence.  Recent work includes a survey undertaken with Marine Scotland aboard the Marine Research Vessel Scotia.

  • Common Tern©Christopher Plummer

    Monitor marine species: We work with partners to conduct and commission research and monitoring of marine species, particularly seabirds and cetaceans, to inform decision making.

  • Updated Broadscale Habitat Map©Crowncopyright ©JNCC-Cefas

    Map the marine environment:  We collate seabed habitat maps from others, standardise them and integrate with them habitat maps from our offshore surveys. To fill the gaps, we build national and international seabed habitat models. Our role leading a multi-disciplinary partnership for EMODnet Seabed Habitats makes a significant contribution to this area of work. 

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