Mapping OSPAR priority habitats

In 2003, the OSPAR Biodiversity Committee agreed to a programme to map the distribution of priority habitats on OSPAR's list of threatened and/or declining species and habitats. The programme is being led by JNCC who co-ordinate the submission of data on the distribution of each habitat type within the territories of each Contracting Party.OSPAR habitat records in the 2014 dataset
The data were first collated and presented to the Biodiversity Committee as preliminary maps for each of the OSPAR priority habitats in February 2005. The datasets are updated on an annual basis, in time for the annual meeting of the Biodiversity Committee every February. Shortly afterwards, a new dataset is published on the EMODnet Seabed Habitats webGIS.
The latest version of the OSPAR Habitats dataset can be viewed and downloaded from the EMODnet Seabed Habitats interactive mapping portal. It can also be accessed using the EMODnet Seabed Habitats Web Map Service (right-click and choose 'copy link address' to use).
JNCC also produces the UK's submission to the international dataset. More information on how this is undertaken can be found in the two-page information sheet and full method document.
A key part of OSPAR's biodiversity strategy is to establish a network of marine protected areas which is both ecologically coherent and well-managed by 2016. More information on OSPAR Marine Protected Areas is available within the Marine Protected Areas section of the JNCC website.
For more information, please contact: