Marine Monitoring Strategy


In order to fulfil our national and international obligations for clean, healthy and productive seas, assessing and monitoring the state of our seas is of high importance. Thus JNCC in cooperation with the Country Conservation Bodies developed the UK Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Strategy in order to help designing a scheme for monitoring the different biodiversity components in a cost-efficient and integrative way.


As part of this overarching Strategy monitoring options are developed for the various biodiversity components (benthic habitats, plankton, fish & cephalopods, seals, seabirds, cetaceans and ecosystem processes & functions) which have been identified for the development of Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) biodiversity descriptors.


Because monitoring can fulfil different objectives (e.g., what is the state/is there a change in the state of a species/area to be monitored, or do existing management measures fulfil their objectives?) a set of Monitoring Types was developed. Each type answers different objectives and is best suited to different survey designs.


Monitoring types box


In the diagram below the relationships between the different legislative drivers for monitoring and assessing, the implementing bodies and the Strategy are shown. The diagram below shows monitoring options developed by JNCC and several other organisations (CCBs – Country Conservation Bodies with inshore responsibilities: the Department of the Environment Northern Ireland (DOENI), Natural England (NE), Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Natural Resources Wales (NRW). JNCC has responsibility for nature conservation in UK offshore waters. Cefas – Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, DECC – Department of Energy & Climate Change, EA – Environment Agency, IFCA – Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Agency, MMO – Marine Management Organisation, MS – Marine Scotland,  MSS – Marine Scotland Science, NGO – Non-Governmental Organisation, SEPA –  Scottish Environment Protection Agency).


Marine Monitoring Strategy