The UKSeaMap 2006 project followed on from the Irish Sea Pilot
which tested a regional seas approach to marine conservation
management (Vincent et al.
). Part of the ISP investigated the concept of
'marine landscapes' (coastal, seabed and water column) and their
ecological relevance (Golding et al.
). For the ISP, seabed and coastal marine landscapes
were derived by integrating a number of geophysical attributes
including bathymetry, seabed sediments, bedforms, maximum near-bed
stress and other data, whilst the water column marine landscapes
were based on two 'model derived', raster datasets for salinity and
stratification (both supplied by Proudman Oceanographic
Laboratory). The ecological relevance of the derived marine
landscape units was tested by assessing the correlation with
different biological communities, determining the degree to which a
particular landscape could be used as a surrogate for biological
communities. In general the Irish Sea marine landscapes were found
to be ecologically valid.
Based on this successful 'proof of concept' in the Irish Sea,
this approach was adapted and extended to produce maps of
seabed landscapes (Figure 1
) and seasonal water column
features (Figure 2
) for the rest of UK waters.
UKSeaMap was updated in 2010 using updated methods and data
provides a map of predicted EUNIS
rather than marine landscapes.
Funding partners and members of
the Project Steering Group, as well as the JNCC, were Defra,
Scottish Executive (now Scottish Government), Office of
the Deputy Prime Minister (now Department for Communities and Local
Government), Department of Trade and Industry (now Department for Energy and Climate
Change), Crown Estate, Countryside
Council for Wales (now Natural Resources
Wales), Natural England (formally
English Nature), WWF-UK, and the Royal Society for the Protection of
Birds (RSPB). The project has also received European Regional
Development Funding through the INTERREG III B Community Initiative,
as part of the Mapping European Seabed Habitats project.
Connor, D. W., Gilliand,
P.M., Golding, N., Robinson, P., Todd, D. & Verling E.
UKSeaMap: the mapping of seabed and water column features of UK
Joint Nature Conservation Committee,
Peterborough . Available online at: http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-3918
Golding, N., Vincent, M.A.
& Connor, D.W. 2004. Irish Sea Pilot -
Report on the development of a Marine Landscape classification for
the Irish Sea. Joint Nature Conservation
Committee, Peterborough. Available online at: www.jncc.gov.uk/irishseapilot
Vincent, M.A. Atkins,
S.M, Lumb, Golding, N., Lieberknecht, L.M., & Webster, M.,
2004. Marine nature conservation and sustainable
development – the Irish SeaPilot. Report to
Defra by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee.