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State of the Seas Assessment - 2: Marine Nature Conservation and Biodiversity Input (MARP 46) - ME4108


Summary Objectives:
ME4108 has 2 main objectives:

i)To prepare maps of the distribution of habitats, specified on the OSPAR list of threatened and declining species and habitats, within the OSPAR area.

ii)To prepare the Joint Nature Conservation Committee’s contribution to the state of the sea’s report, including progressing the development of indicators of the biodiversity of UK Seas where possible. (Results will be based upon data from survey and monitoring under the management of JNCC and partner organisations and will be presented in enumerated or mapped form for inclusion in the report).

Key Customer Purpose:
As part of its work to implement Annex V of the convention, The OSPAR biodiversity Committee, has identified a need to prepare maps of seabed habitats. This is to meet both specific and immediate requirements in relation to the protection of threatened habitats and the development of EcoQO’s (Ecological Quality Objectives) and longer-term goals regarding quality status assessments and implementation of an ecosystem based approach to management of the marine environment.

The 5th North Sea Ministerial Declaration in March 2002 also recognised the importance of a marine habitat classification for the assessment of the conservation status of marine habitats and specifically encouraged OSPAR and the EEA to start marine habitat mapping of the North Sea by 2003.

The international drivers for the preparation of seabed habitat maps have also been reflected by the UK government in its Marine Stewardship report, Safeguarding Our Seas, published in May 2002. The report outlined the strategy for the sustainable development and conservation of our seas. It recognised the need for seabed maps but also calls for improved spatial planning and implementation of the ecosystem-based approach. The report sets out a framework to deliver the vision through improved co-ordination of marine monitoring with the aim of supporting more integrated assessments of the state of the UK marine environment at regular intervals.

The commitment by Defra to produce an up-to-date comprehensive report on the quality and status of UK waters as an integrated assessment (the whole of the UK EEZ), will be in the form of a State of the Seas Report, the first of which will be published in January 2005. To take this forward a steering group was established, chaired by Defra, with representatives from the four UK marine monitoring sectors, namely, ocean climate, fisheries, environmental quality and biodiversity/conservation.

Status reports produced by each of the 4 sectors will provide the basis for the integrated assessment. ME4108 will support the contribution to the report from the UK’s marine nature conservation monitoring programmes.

To prepare the Joint Nature Conservation Committee’s contribution to the State of the Seas report, including finalising the development of indicators of the biodiversity of UK Seas based upon data from monitoring under the management of JNCC and presenting these in enumerated form ready for inclusion in the report.
Project Documents
• Final Report : ME4108   (1146k)
• General : ME4108   (19k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2004

Cost: £63,800
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Environmental monitoring              
Environmental Protection              
Water quality monitoring              
Fields of Study
Environmental Protection - Marine