A study into marine landscapes applied to habitat mapping

Stewart, H.A.; Graham, C.C.; Henni, P.H.O.; Stevenson, A.G.. 2003 A study into marine landscapes applied to habitat mapping. Edinburgh, UK, British Geological Survey, 53pp. (IR/03/132) (Unpublished)

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In recent years there have been many new seabed-mapping programmes carried out around the world using the latest data acquisition techniques. The need for these maps is driven by the recognition that an ecosystem-based approach to the management of national Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), as required by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, requires both detailed bathymetry and maps of the physical properties of the sea floor. In Europe, the implementation of the CBD is through the Habitats and Birds Directives, which require the identification of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protected Areas (SPAs). A network of SACs and SPAs will be set up across Europe known as Natura 2000. In addition, the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas has developed the concept of the ecosystem-based approach in the context of fisheries management, subsequently adopted by the European Union in its review of the Common Fisheries Policy; the World Wildlife Fund for Natures’ marine policy has developed the concept of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs); the OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic is also working to promote networks of MPAs and Ecological Quality Objectives (EcoQOs). In the UK, the Department of Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) major reports on Marine Stewardship,’ Safeguarding our Seas: A Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Development of our Marine Environment’ published in 2002 and followed by a consultation paper ‘ Seas of Change’, form the basis for developing a practical application of the ecosystem-based approach. The DEFRA Review of Marine Nature Conservation (RMNC) produced an interim report in 2001, which recommended that a pilot scheme at a regional scale to test a proposed framework for nature conservation. This has led to the Irish Sea Pilot Study managed by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), which has adopted the concept of ‘marine landscapes’, first developed in Canadian waters, based on geophysical features recognising that their importance in determining the nature of biological communities. As a result of these national and international initiatives, a number of habitat classification schemes have been introduced in different parts of the world. Since 2001, a group of geologists with interests in the application of geological data to habitat mapping have met each year to present their views and mapping programmes and to discuss their ideas with scientists from other disciplines, mainly biologists and oceanographers. The GeoHab (Geological Mapping of Habitats for Marine Resources and Management) group have provided the impetus for this review of BGS geological data in the context of habitat mapping classification schemes, and proposes ways in which our BGS data may be applied automatically, within a Geographical Information System, to the selection of relevant sources of information.

Item Type: Publication - Report
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Other
Funders/Sponsors: British Geological Survey
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This item has been internally reviewed, but not externally peer-reviewed.
Date made live: 11 May 2020 10:21 +0 (UTC)

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