Marine Activities and Pressures Mapping

Human activities data


JNCC actively collaborates with industry (e.g. Oil & Gas UK, Subsea UK, Royal Yachting Association, Crown Estate) and governmental organisations (e.g. Marine Management Organisation (MMO), Marine Scotland, UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO)) to collate third-party spatial data on human activities, which tell us where and, if possible, when activities occur in the UK marine environment. Data on a range of human activities are collated, such as fishing, renewable energy generation, aggregate dredging (of gravel and sand dredged from the sea bed), oil and gas, shipping and recreational activities (e.g. yachting and diving sites). These activities have a potential to impact the marine environment resulting from frequency and location of occurrence.

The following portals allow you to view human activity data online, and in some cases download:

     •  UK:

     •  Scotland: National Marine Plan Interactive

     •  Wales: Marine Planning Portal.

     •  England: Marine Information System

     •  Northern Ireland: Marine Mapviewer

     •  Europe: EMODnet (European Marine Observation and Data Network)


Pressures Mapping 


JNCC are developing the spatial data held on human activities into pressure maps for the UK marine environment. Pressures are determined by activity type, distribution and intensity.  Pressure maps show where in the marine environment a pressure is caused and therefore where there is a potential impact. These maps can be used for multiple purposes:

•  Undertaking monitoring based on the risk to a habitat or species; by sampling along a gradient of risk for both habitats and species, we can learn about the responses of habitats and species to pressures.

•  Pressures information as a proxy for the state of biodiversity, i.e. if the habitats are exposed to a pressure to which they are sensitive.

•  Mapping different pressures alongside our marine habitat and species maps, we can find out if habitats and species are exposed to pressures that they are sensitive to i.e. vulnerability assessments

JNCC have created pressure maps for two pressures under the pressure theme ‘Physical damage (reversible change)’:

     •  Habitat structure changes - removal of substratum (extraction)

     •  Penetration and/or disturbance of the substrate below the surface of the seabed, including abrasion

Pressures diagram

For more information on the pressure mapping methods please read the associated reports for abrasion and extraction. To request the pressure maps (shapefiles) for extraction, please email