Classifying Marine Habitats

Having a classification system for marine habitats provides a useful tool for managing and conserving marine biodiversity. In Britain and Ireland we have two compatible classification schemes, which are summarised below.
Marine Habitats

Marine Habitat Classification for Britain & Ireland version 15.03

The Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland is one of the most comprehensive marine benthic classification systems currently in use, and has been developed through the analysis of empirical data sets, the review of other classifications and scientific literature, and in collaboration with a wide range of marine scientists and conservation managers. Click on the Marine Habitat Classification page in the tree to the left to see biotope descriptions and a full expandable hierarchy of habitats/biotopes.
 

EUNIS Classification version 2007-11

The European Nature Information System (EUNIS) classification is a pan-European system, which covers terrestrial and marine habitats. The marine section is based on, and is fully compatible with, our national classification.
 

Marine habitats correlation table

A correlation table has been prepared by JNCC which allows users to translate between the EUNIS marine classification, the Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland, and other marine habitats listed as being important for conservation under various legislative instruments (e.g. Habitats Directive Annex I habitats, OSPAR habitats).