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Development of the UK Integrated Marine Observing Network (UK-IMON) - ME5309

Marine monitoring is an extremely expensive activity. At present statutory data are collected and used for monitoring and assessing the environmental condition of the UK’s marine waters. These assessments fulfil the UK’s policy-reporting obligations under policies such as the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (and other Directives), international conventions and agreements (e.g. OSPAR), and national commitments such as the new Marine and Coastal Access Act. A large volume of marine data is collected for non-statutory purposes, but co-ordination between statutory and non-statutory organisations is currently limited. Improving that co-ordination could increase the quantity and spatio-temporal coverage of data, in a cost-effective manner. This increase in evidence will improve our knowledge and understanding of the marine environment and will make our assessment of its condition more robust.

This proposed project will deliver a series of actions that promote the co-ordination and integration of non-statutory marine monitoring/observing programmes around the UK. The ultimate aim is to have a fully operational single UK Integrated Marine Monitoring Observing Network (UK-IMON). Opportunities to be more effective and efficient are potentially being missed. This project provides a means of quickly taking forward this initiative in a number of areas, including a series of implementation projects that would demonstrate the utility of the IMON.
The aim of the proposed research project is to begin the process of integration of the broader and non-statutory observing programmes (that provide important contextual information) with existing statutory monitoring. This is an important step towards a future holistic UK Integrated Marine Observing Network. This research proposal provides a route for quickly taking forward the initiative in a number of areas, including a series of implementation projects that would demonstrate the utility of UK-IMON. The proposed work programme would have the following specific evidence objectives:
1. To refine and implement the UK-IMON plan (including research project management)
2. To promote integration of statutory and non-statutory , through a number of Quick Wins and implementations studies (see section 2.3)
3. To engage with other European and international initiative and activities; e.g. GOOS, EUROGOOS, the Australian IMOS (Integrated Marine Observing System), US-IOOS (Integrated Ocean Observing System and the EC EMODnet (European Marine Observing and Data Network).
4. To promote closer engagement with MEDIN
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2012

To: 2014

Cost: £503,898
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Long-Term Monitoring