Marine Pressures and Impacts


Coastal and marine ecosystems are subject to pressures associated with a variety of human activities. Concern over the possible impacts of anthropogenic pressures on these ecosystems has led to the development of national, regional, and global commitments, which aim to preserve and, where possible, mitigate negative impacts on marine biodiversity. JNCC works to develop our understanding of how these human activities and pressures interact with the marine environment and thus, what their potential impacts are.

Areas of work at JNCC include: 

• Research into the links between activities and associated pressures (e.g. fishing activity with abrasion pressure) (see Marine Activities and Pressures Evidence).

• Collating, cataloguing and mapping data showing the spatial location of marine activities and associated pressures (see Marine Activities and Pressures Mapping).

• Sensitivity Assessments of benthic habitats and species to marine pressures.

• Mapping marine biodiversity exposure against human-induced pressures to determine how vulnerable they are to associated pressures (see Marine Vulnerability).


The information gained through this work can be used to:

• Assist MPA designation and the delivery of conservation advice.

• Inform risk-based assessments in support of marine biodiversity monitoring.

• Facilitate discussions on management measures for MPAs.

• Advise marine industry in relation to environmental impact assessments (principally oil and gas, marine aggregate  dredging, fishing and the renewable energy industry).

• Develop and test OSPAR and national MSFD indicators to assess habitat condition (see Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and OSPAR)


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