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Centre for

Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology

From the shoreline to the deep ocean, tackling issues from pure ecology
and physiology to aquaculture, marine spatial planning and conservation.

Charting Progress

Charting Progress 2 is a comprehensive report on the state of the UK seas, published by the UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment community. It provides key findings from UK marine research and monitoring for use by policy makers and others, as we move towards the UK vision of clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas.

CMBB's Dr Bill Sanderson contributed to the report whilst working for the Countryside Council for Wales. For further information, see the Charting Progress website.

Overview

This was the first major UK-wide assessment of marine habitats and species which shows, with varying degrees of confidence, that human and natural pressures have impacts on many of our habitats and species. Against a historical decline, the diversity and overall abundance of bottom-dwelling fish have improved appreciably in most regions because of better fishing management practices, but many stocks are still being fished unsustainably. Many estuaries have become significantly cleaner which has led to an increase in both the diversity and numbers of fish. Waterbird populations, such as golden plover, are also increasing in most regions. Populations of seabirds, such as herring gulls, and harbour seals are declining in some regions, but we have not found clear reasons for this. Among industries, fishing has had the most significant impact, affecting large areas of the seabed. Climate change is also affecting species and habitats, for example the distributions of plankton species are changing due to the rise in sea temperature.