JNCC is seeking to establish a contract to define infaunal assemblages for inclusion in a deep-sea section of the Marine Habitat Classification of Britain and Ireland


It has become a priority to develop a deep-sea component for the Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland to allow offshore survey data acquired by JNCC and SNCBs to be assigned a biotope and to help prevent numerous new biotopes being proposed independently for similar data and as such losing cohesion within the classification community. An overall structure for the deep-sea classification and categories used to define the upper four levels are currently being reviewed by experts. Once these are finalised, the next step is to populate the lowest levels with recognised deep-sea biological assemblages, in the appropriate places. Infaunal and epifaunal data are generally analysed separately and experts tend to specialise in one or the other, so two separate contracts will be undertaken for the definition of infaunal and epifaunal assemblages; this contract refers to the infaunal component.


This contract will build on previous work defining infaunal deep-sea assemblages and cover the following work packages:

  1. Collation of available interpreted UK deep-sea data on infaunal species composition;
  2. Definition of UK deep-sea infaunal assemblages;
  3. Definition of parent categories and placement of infaunal assemblages within the broader classification structure;
  4. Production of supporting documents for deep-sea classification.


Further follow-on work may be required to create a spatial data set showing where deep-sea infaunal assemblages have been recorded, subject to continuing need, availability of funds, and satisfactory contractor performance. JNCC would welcome consortium bids as well as bids from single organisations.


What to do next


Potential contractors are invited to download the following documents and complete the acceptance form of our terms and conditions attached to the invitation to quote (ITT).




  • Date for return of quote: 8 July 2013
  • Proposed start date: 13 July 2013
  • Proposed end date: 13 December 2013