National Marine Biological Analytical Quality Control Scheme (NMBAQC)

 

JNCC and the UK conservation agencies (Natural Resources Wales, Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural England and Department of Environment, Northern Ireland) participate in the North Atlantic Marine Biological Analytical Quality Control Scheme (NMBAQC) with JNCC representing the conservation agencies on the NMBAQC steering committee.

 

The NMBAQC Scheme was established to monitor marine biological data quality standards for benthic faunal studies.  Under the scheme, a series of exercises is undertaken throughout the year where participating laboratories receive samples for analysis from the scheme at approximately three-monthly intervals. Samples distributed include grab samples for macrobenthic analysis, sets of fauna for identification (Ring Test) and sediment samples for particle size analysis. Laboratories also submit samples from their own activities for re-examination (Own Samples) and also from their own work for re-examination (Laboratory Reference).

 

To date the NMBAQC has focused on the identification of infaunal species. However, due to the increasing requirement to monitor marine habitats and species through the EC Habitats Directive, the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the EU Water Framework Directive, there is a growing need to establish similar quality control standards for epibiota data collected using  remote photography and video methods. The NMBAQC has undertaken a number of initiatives to tackle this issue:

 

1. Published operational guidance on remote monitoring of Epibiota using digital imagery


The Epibiota Remote Monitoring from Digital Imagery: Operational Guidelines provide a summary of current best practice for the acquisition of video and stills imaging of benthic substrata and epibenthic species to ensure that data collected are fit for purpose in relation to the needs and requirements of a survey. They form part of the epibiota component of the NMBAQC scheme, reporting to HBDSEG (Healthy and Biologically Diverse Seas Evidence Group) under the UK’s Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy (UKMMAS).

 

2. Published guidance on the interpretation of digital imagery of Epibiota acquired by remote monitoring


The Epibiota Remote Monitoring from Digital Imagery: Interpretation Guidelines provide a summary of current best practice for the interpretation of video and stills imaging data of benthic substrata and epibenthic species to ensure that data are interpreted to fulfil the objectives of a survey. They form part of the epibiota component of the NMBAQC scheme, reporting to the Healthy and Biologically Diverse Seas Evidence Group (HBDSEG) under the UK’s Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy (UKMMAS).


3. Continued development of a Epibiota Video Ring Test


The NMBAQC's Epibiota Video Ring Test Pilot was run over 2008 - 2009 and involved three tests and a concluding workshop. The final report, ring test reports, workshop proceedings and questionnaire from this video ring test pilot are available on the Epibiota Reports page of the NMBAQC website.

The NMBAQC aims to build upon the results of 2008-2009 ring test while developing the next Epibiota Video Ring Test during 2017-2018.

Return to Graphics version

| JNCC - Adviser to Government on Nature Conservation | Site Map | Search | Legal | Feedback | List Access Keys |