Scottish Marine Biodiversity Data Review

Can you help NatureScot to support the Scottish Marine Biodiversity Data review? Please complete this survey which will help to;

  • understand what marine biodiversity data is needed for currently (and in the future), the existing management of this data, and how data is currently found and accessed;
  • identify what is working well and less well, and to discover what ideas you might have for where worthwhile improvements could be made;
  • inform and refine further analysis methods and stakeholder engagement work.

Complete the survey here; which will be live until 07/06/2021. 

Accessibility of biological data has become more urgent than ever before in tackling the biodiversity crisis and the global climate emergency. Scotland has one of the world’s richest, most productive and biologically diverse seas; as well as being biologically important, Scotland’s seas and coasts are home to many essential marine industry sectors that support and sustain communities. Expanding human activity in the marine environment requires a stronger focus on managing human activity pressures on marine ecosystems. Access to robust marine biodiversity data is essential for monitoring species and habitat change, informing planning and conservation decisions and bringing people closer to the natural world.

An investigation of the Biological Recording Infrastructure in Scotland was undertaken by the Scottish Biodiversity Information Forum (SBIF) and published in 2018. This review was however focussed on the terrestrial environment with limited engagement with key players in the marine sector and as a result there is no document setting out what the needs and priorities are for marine biodiversity data. Marine data collection and science also face unique challenges due to the complexity of the marine environment and high cost of data collection; as a result there is a marked difference in the evolution of structures that support marine species and habitats data and terrestrial data and in the way that the respective existing data workflows operate, meriting additional investigation to the original review undertaken by SBIF.

This marine data review project is an adjunct to the original SBIF review led by NatureScot’s Marine Ecosystems Activity Team, working with stakeholders across the key marine sectors in Scotland and with members of the SBIF advisory group. The analysis will contribute to and support the ongoing work by the UK Marine Environmental Data & Information Network (MEDIN) in helping achieve the objectives for more integrated data management and sharing, as well as compliance with the INSPIRE Directive to make data accessible to the public. The overarching aim of this current project is to better harness technology for managing marine data to benefit nature; that is to coordinate and improve marine biodiversity data workflows and help to ensure that all Scottish marine survey data can be efficiently collated, trusted and shared, based on FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) data principlesfor the benefit of marine conservation and a future Blue Economy.

This questionnaire is open to all marine sectors and stakeholders to help us understand how well the existing marine biodiversity data infrastructure is working and to seek ideas on improvements to data workflows and to data accessibility and availability, and the priority of these.

Please tell us how you are involved in managing and using marine biodiversity records, what problems you have and your ideas for improvements. The results of this questionnaire will be published in due course and will be used to help inform and shape further analysis and improvement work.

**Although the primary remit of this review is for Scotland, we are interested in hearing from people across the UK as the issues and improvements needed could be common to us all**

Thank you for taking part – your input is greatly appreciated.

Friday, 14 May, 2021 to Monday, 7 June, 2021