JNCC is responsible for co-ordinating and undertaking assessments of marine ecosystems to inform UK Government policy and management of human activities. Assessments are also used to report against our obligations under UK and international legislation aimed at protecting the marine environment. We lead assessment work within offshore marine areas and work with colleagues in the country nature conservation bodies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to produce assessments at a UK scale. Internationally, we work with other agencies and key scientific organisations within OSPAR regions to develop indicators and integrated assessment tools to evaluate the health of biodiversity in the North-East Atlantic.
Since 2005, we have undertaken and co-ordinated delivery of a variety of biodiversity assessments such as: the first State of UK Seas report (Charting Progress) and subsequently Charting Progress 2; the Marine Strategy Framework and Nature Directives, the State of Europe’s Seas; and the OSPAR Convention’s Quality Status Report and Intermediate Assessment.
Our staff lead scientific expert groups nationally and internationally, developing new tools, indicators, and integrated and modelling approaches for assessing biodiversity at a variety of scales.
What are Marine Assessments?
Image: Role of monitoring and assessment within an overall environmental management cycle.
Marine Assessments are a vital step within the environmental management cycle (see figure above). They make best use of evidence that enables us to provide advice on management and inform policy. Assessments look at various components of marine ecosystems, including the status and trends in abundance and condition of marine species and habitats, impacts from human activities, and progress towards management.
Assessments take place at various scales, from the MPA scale to whole regions such as the Greater North Sea. JNCC plays a key role in the development of Indicators used to undertake such assessments, working collaboratively with other experts nationally and internationally.
National and International requirements underpin marine biodiversity assessment and reporting. More detail can be found under Reporting Obligations.