Ecological Unit Typology & Designated Areas

 

Ecological Unit Typology

These ecological units form part of the 4 scales that consider the marine environment under a proposed new framework for marine nature conservation.
  • Saline lagoons
  • Straits and Sounds
  • Estuaries
  • Bays
  • Fjord (sealochs) (with or without sill)
  • Rias
  • Voes
  • Sand waves fields
  • Lag gravel pavements
  • Carbonate mound fields
  • Pockmark fields (gas seeps)
  • Seamounts
  • Canyon Systems
  • Channel systems
  • Deep sea sediment fans
  • Submarine ridge systems (including hydrothermal vents)
  • Iceberg plough mark zones
  • Sponge fields (with massive sponges or glass sponges)
  • Coral grounds (scattered Lophelia or gorgonian fields)
  • Contourites (sand features)
  • Shelf slope
  • Enclosed 'deeps' on the shelf
  • Sandbanks and linear tidal sand ridges
  • Turbidites, slumps and slides
  • Mud basins
  • Shelf islands
  • Oceanic islands
  • Polynias
  • Sea ice
  • Glacial moraines
  • Marginal ice zone
  • Static bathymetric features - shelf break
  • Persistent hydrographic features - currents and frontal systems
  • Predictable but non-permanent hydrographic features upwellings, eddies, seasonal fronts
Note that this is a provisional typology developed for OSPAR and, with practical application in the Regional Sea chosen, is likely to need modification.

These special areas form part of the 4 scales that consider the marine environment under a proposed new framework for marine nature conservation.

Specific areas of national importance

  • Site of Special Scientific Interest/Areas of Scientific Interest
  • Marine Nature Reserves
  • National Nature Reserves
  • Local Nature Reserves
  • Special Areas of Conservation
  • Special Protection Areas
  • Ramsar sites
  • Areas of Special Protection/Bird Sanctuaries
  • Candidate MEHRAs
  • Nitrate Vulnerable Zones
  • Voluntary marine nature reserves
  • Fisheries protected areas
  • and, to the extent practicable, non-statutory sites forming part of the national series