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UK Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Programme

UK Governments have a vision for clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas. We can only understand if we are achieving this vision through the collection of monitoring data and undertaking of assessments. Marine biodiversity monitoring is also vital for effective management of the human activities that take place within our seas.

As part of the UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy (UKMMAS), JNCC leads the development of a UK Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Programme, working with our partners across the monitoring community. The Programme spans UK territorial and offshore waters, focusing on biodiversity in the wider environment and within Marine Protected Areas.  Its aim is to implement efficient, integrated monitoring of marine biodiversity to provide the evidence needed for all the UK's policy drivers.

JNCC leads the following elements of this ambitious work programme:

  • Development of the UK Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Strategy to help design a programme for marine biodiversity monitoring that is more co-ordinated and cost effective
  • Development of advice for Governments on options for monitoring seabirds, cetaceans, seabed habitats and marine protected areas, allowing UK Governments to make informed decisions about the level of evidence that is required from marine biodiversity monitoring activities;
  • Working in collaboration with other partners to carry out operational monitoring and deliver evidence at a UK scale for seabed habitats, seabirds and cetaceans;
  • Co-ordination of the overall monitoring strategy and vision, working with partners who lead on providing advice on monitoring for seals, fish and cephalopods and pelagic habitats including plankton. 

Development of such an ambitious monitoring programme is challenging because the area of sea is vast, the biodiversity is great and research is still needed to improve our collective understanding of the marine environment. We are committed to achieving the programme’s aims through targeted research and development, development of shared standards and protocols, and improved co-ordination across countries and organisations.

Find out more about these areas of the programme:


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