Marine Protected Area (MPA) Monitoring
JNCC has a dual responsibility for monitoring of seabed habitats and species in UK Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
- UK co-ordination: working together with our partners in UK Governments and the country nature conservation bodies (CNCBs) with responsibility for monitoring MPAs in inshore waters (< 12nm from the coast) to produce advice to assist in monitoring UK Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
- Offshore: monitoring offshore MPAs (from 12nm from the coast out to the limits of the UK continental shelf).
JNCC works closely with its partners in UK Governments and the country nature conservation bodies (CNCBs) with responsibility for monitoring MPAs in inshore waters (< 12nm from the coast) to produce advice to assist in monitoring UK Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
As part of this work, JNCC:
- conducted two reviews of international MPA monitoring (Addison 2011; Parry et al. 2012);
- led a review of monitoring and assessment in UK inshore MPAs by the SNCBs using Common Standards Monitoring between 1999 and 2013 (McBreen et al. 2016); and
- developed Monitoring Guidance for Benthic Habitats, which aims to supply the reader with the information necessary to develop robust benthic monitoring programmes and answer monitoring questions with a high level of confidence.
Offshore Marine Protected Area Monitoring
UK offshore MPAs contain a diverse range of habitats and species, from shallow sandbanks in less than 20 m water depth to vulnerable marine ecosystems such as cold-water corals and Deep-Sea Sponge Aggregations. JNCC leads on operational monitoring of MPAs in UK offshore waters. JNCC works with a range of partners to deliver offshore MPA monitoring surveys, including Cefas, Marine Scotland Science and Natural England. Reports produced from these surveys can be found on the MPA Monitoring Survey Reports webpage. The evidence collected during these surveys is used in combination with other available evidence to:
- assess the condition of habitats in the MPAs;
- report on whether the MPAs are meeting their Conservation Objectives; and
- produce advice on MPA management.
Scottish Marine Protected Area Monitoring Strategy
Marine Scotland, in partnership with JNCC and SNH, has developed a Scottish Marine Protected Area (MPA) monitoring strategy. The Strategy is supported by a series of annexes which provide more detail on monitoring methods, collaborative working, current monitoring and a two year forward look for MPA monitoring in Scottish waters.