A series of reports on activities in and around English seas were published on Wednesday October 31 by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).
The four new commissioned publications are part of the MMO’s work to identify and fill gaps in knowledge that marine planners, regulators and users currently face. The reports make recommendations on what information is needed to support MMO decisions, and also how the evidence base could be developed in the future.
They cover a range of topics – from fishing activity and leisure uses to the social and economic data on marine industries – and are available to all.
The information gathered will be used to shape marine plans, and to ensure all marine uses are fully taken account of as the MMO plans for the future of our seas.
The reports published today are:
· Review of fisheries resource and activity in England – pulls together all the current evidence on location, trends and landings of the main commercial fishing activity in English waters.
· Socio-economic data report and tools review – a joint project between MMO and Marine Scotland to find all available data on social and economic data on marine industries and coastal communities, and ways to apply them to decision-making.
· Compilation of spatial data on marine recreational activities – findings will be used to create a database of leisure activities in and around our seas, so they can be fully considered as part of marine planning.
· Seabed habitat mapping – an updated seabed habitat map has been prepared for the East Inshore and East Offshore marine plan areas to inform marine planning.
Patricia Almada-Villela, Head of Evidence, Data and Knowledge Management at the MMO, said: “Having a more accurate picture of activities is vital in understanding how our marine area – and those who rely on it for their livelihoods and leisure time – could be shaped by marine planning and other MMO decisions.
“This is also the first time all of this information has been brought together in one place. These publications address some of the evidence gaps identified and prioritised in the MMO’s Strategic Evidence Plan.
“We have made these reports freely available on our website as we hope they will prove useful to all those in interested in our marine area.”
The information in these reports was gathered from a wide range of sources, including existing scientific studies and first-hand experience from industry representatives and other experts.
The MMO will continue to publish data reports to build further on the marine evidence base.
The reports are available at www.marinemanagement.org.uk/evidence/.
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