Marine Monitoring Handbook
Davies, J., Baxter, J., Bradley, M., Connor, D., Khan, J., Murray, E., Sanderson, W., Turnbull, C. & Vincent, M.
The Marine Monitoring Handbook addresses the principles behind, and the procedures for, monitoring the habitats and species within marine SACs in UK waters to assess their condition. These assessments are intended to fulfil the requirements of the EC Habitats and Species Directive and the UK's common standards for monitoring.

Overview of Marine Monitoring Handbook (MMH)

The UK Marine SACs project was set up to establish management schemes on selected marine Special Areas of Conservation (SACs). It focussed on twelve marine SACs around the UK coastline to build our knowledge and establish the best practise needed for the management and monitoring of marine sites. The Marine Monitoring Handbook is one of the key outputs of the project and will be used as guidance by the UK government's statutory nature conservation agencies and their key partners in drawing up monitoring schemes for marine SACs.
The Handbook provides guidance on the different options and their relative costs and benefits and describes best practise through a series of procedural guidelines for the common survey/monitoring techniques. It draws on the information gathered from extensive trials of different techniques and their deployment undertaken during the UK Marine SACs project to ensure all advice has a sound practical basis.
The Marine Monitoring Handbook should be viewed as a toolkit to assist those with responsibility for monitoring to select and use appropriate methods. It is not prescriptive, rather it aims to support good decision making in marine SAC monitoring in the light of resource availability and other practicalities.
Furthermore, as our practical knowledge of monitoring increases, and the marine monitoring requirements are addressed in greater detail within the European Union, the guidance set out in the Handbook is likely to change. The Handbook should, therefore, be considered as a live working document.
You can obtain copies of the text as:


Contact points for further advice

The source of advice will depend on the nature of the query. In general:
  • For clarification of any points in the text in this Handbook, queries should be addressed to the authors who are listed under each section, including the Procedural Guidelines; or
  • General queries, queries of a UK nature, or advice on common standards monitoring for marine SACs should be emailed to  (JNCC).

Future progress of the Marine Monitoring Handbook – 2017-2018

Further work will be carried out to improve the coverage and content of the Marine Monitoring Handbook. In particular, updates will be made to a range of Procedural Guidelines from Section 6 of the Handbook. These are intended to better reflect modern practices by incorporating up-to-date technology with the most recent procedures from a wide range of sources. The updates will be incorporated into the electronic version of the Handbook currently held on this page. This will continue to be maintained on the JNCC Internet site.


The JNCC recently developed the Marine Monitoring Method Finder: a web tool that brings together a wide range of monitoring guidelines and procedures, in addition to those in the Marine Monitoring Handbook, and makes them readily available via a search bar and spreadsheet tool. Further work will include improvements to the user interface of the Method Finder, while still incorporating the planned changes to the Marine Monitoring Handbook.

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405 pp
ISBN 1 85716 550 0
Please cite as: Davies, J., Baxter, J., Bradley, M., Connor, D., Khan, J., Murray, E., Sanderson, W., Turnbull, C. & Vincent, M., (2001), Marine Monitoring Handbook, 405 pp, ISBN 1 85716 550 0