Coral under the sea

​From coastal regions to the deep-sea, we rely on our marine environment for food, energy and raw materials to support the growing human population. We conduct research that provides scientifically robust evidence to support practical decisions about how we sustainably use our marine environment, now and in the future.

Research in this theme encompasses Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), from monitoring existing MPAs (identifying fit for purpose techniques and indicators) and assessing recovery from recent and historical pressures; to their designation, based on the collection and development of habitat maps and predictive models that inform policy makers on the best locations for the establishment of new MPAs. Other on-going research is focused on the management and sustainability of fisheries including: seabird and fisheries interactions and the conservation implications; and the displacement behaviour of inshore and offshore fishers around the UK in response to Marine Conservation Zones and marine renewable no take zones. Research in the field of marine renewables including wind farms, wave and tidal power is assessing the impact of renewable energy installations and devices on the marine benthos. Embedded within our research is the Ecosystem Approach to management, in particular addressing how human pressures on the marine environment modify the flows of ecosystem services.

Our research uses a cross disciplinary range of techniques including acoustic seabed survey, seabed video and image data analysis, predictive modelling, satellite tracking, remote sensing, oceanographic modelling, as well as more traditional benthic sampling using grabs, trawls and diver survey.