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The BIG PICTURE II: Benthic Imagery Workshop 2021

News Item 2021



The workshop report and accompanying resources from The BIG PICTURE II: Benthic Imagery Workshop 2021, hosted by JNCC on 2–4 March 2021, are now available.

The three-day workshop brought together a wide group of stakeholders from across the marine monitoring community, and provided an opportunity to share progress; consider funding opportunities; and to discuss the challenges of innovation in benthic imagery, including the development of standards and collaborative working in the UK and beyond. 

The BIG PICTURE II is the second collaborative event to be held over the past two years.  The workshop was an online event, with two core sessions each day, and a number of presentations delivered by key representatives from the cross-organisation collaborative working group – known as the 'Big Picture Group'.  Building on the success of the first BIG PICTURE Workshop, held in March 2019, the workshop will be an opportunity to showcase some of the early achievements made in implementing the UK's Benthic Imagery Action Plan (BIAP), which collates and focusses the recommendations from the first BIG PICTURE workshop into 87 work tasks, organised into seven coherent workflows.  

The workshop ran for three days, each of which contained two key sessions. Videos of the sessions are available, along with copies of the presentations given, and a workshop report.


Day 1: Tuesday 2 March

Day 1, Introduction: Welcome, practicalities, working style and programme – reviewing the context and background, and aims and objectives of the workshop.


Day 1, Session 1: The journey from BIG PICTURE to BIAP to Big Picture Group to Project Working Groups (PWGs)

  • Development of a UK Benthic Imagery Action Plan (Henk van Rein, JNCC)
  • Formation of the Big Picture Group (Henk van Rein, JNCC)
  • Project Working Groups and looking ahead (Henk van Rein, JNCC)


Day 1, Session 2: Early successes of BIAP: Benthic imagery purposes, Quality Assurance Framework, Epifauna Identification Protocol

  • Development of standard benthic imagery purposes (Henk van Rein, JNCC)
  • Development of Quality Assurance Framework (Jess Taylor & Graeme Duncan, JNCC)
  • The Epifauna Identification Protocol (Jess Taylor, JNCC)


Day 1: Summary


Day 2, Wednesday 3 March 2021

Introduction: Plan for the day


Day 2, Session 3: BIAP progress in the digital realm: AI, Data flows and Catalogues

  • Artificial intelligence approaches for benthic imagery (Kerry Howell, University of Plymouth)
  • Benthic imagery data flows (Dan Lear, Marine Biological Association of the UK / Data Archive for Seabed Species and Habitats)
  • Benthic imagery catalogues (Graeme Duncan, JNCC)


Day 2, Session 4: Continual progress of BIAP in day-to-day analysis: Annotation, Identification and Enumeration

  • Identification approaches used for benthic imagery data (Joey O’Connor, JNCC)
  • Enumeration approaches used for benthic imagery data (Jon Hawes, Cefas)
  • Imagery annotation software (Mark Burton, Natural Resources Wales)


Day 2: Special session


Day 3, Thursday 4 March 2021

Day 3, Introduction: Recap and Plan for the day



Day 3, Session 5: Training, standards and acquisition approaches for the future

  • Training approaches for deep sea imagery (Jaime Davies, University of Plymouth)
  • Development of benthic imagery workflow guidance (Ross Bullimore, Cefas; and Mike Fraser, Natural England / Environment Agency)
  • Overview of benthic imagery acquisition approaches (Henk van Rein, JNCC)


Day 3, Session 6: The future of The BIG PICTURE


JNCC would like to thank all participants for attending and engaging, and all speakers for presenting, and allowing their presentations to be shared.

The BIG PICTURE II Workshop Report (JNCC Report No. 686) is available on our Resource Hub, along with the workshop resources.

Please note that the videos of the presentations are currently not fully accessible. To request accessible versions, please get in touch. An accessible version of the Workshop report, which provides a summary of the event, has been produced. 



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