Updated UK Marine Strategy Part Two: marine monitoring

Closed 17 Nov 2020

Opened 25 Aug 2020


Defra, the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government are seeking views on the updated marine monitoring programmes for the state of the UK’s seas for each of the UK Marine Strategy descriptors.

The consultation document sets out the monitoring programmes we propose to use to measure our progress towards Good Environmental Status across biodiversity, productivity, and pressures in UK seas; it notes the progress we have made since Part Two was originally published in 2014; and identifies the gaps and opportunities we aim to address in the near future.

The consultation does not cover the assessment of the state of the UK’s seas and GES characteristics, targets and indicators.  These were covered in a previous consultation, this is documented in Marine Strategy Part One published October 2019 (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/841246/marine-strategy-part1-october19.pdf).    

This consultation does not cover the programme of measures. This was covered in Marine Strategy Part Three published December 2015 (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/486623/marine-strategy-part3-programme-of-measures.pdf).

Our target audiences are groups or individuals who use the sea for whatever purpose, or have an interest in it, business users of the sea, national and local interest groups, and governments in other OSPAR contracting parties.

The aims of the Strategy are consistent with the UK government and devolved administrations’ vision of “clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas”. This requirement to monitor and assess the state of the UK seas is enshrined in UK legislation and demonstrates the combined commitments of the four UK Administrations to work together to monitor and protect what are some of the most biologically diverse and productive seas in Europe. We will also continue to collaborate internationally with those countries that share our seas, particularly through OSPAR, our regional seas convention, to protect and conserve the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic.

What happens next

This consultation poses four key questions for stakeholders to consider regarding the monitoring programmes listed in the document. Comments made by stakeholders will be addressed in a published Summary of Responses and will influence the finalised updated UK Marine Strategy Part Two document, which will be published alongside the Summary of Responses.


  • All Marine Users


  • Natural environment
  • Biodiversity
  • Climate change
  • Marine
  • Common Fisheries Policy
  • Fish stocks
  • Shellfish
  • Sea angling
  • Water quality
  • Water conservation
  • Sewerage
  • Chemicals and pesticides
  • Noise
  • Pollution Sector
  • Science
  • Conservation
  • Marine fisheries
  • Nitrates and watercourses
  • Non-native species
  • Whales and dolphins