Technical Manager: James Albrecht JNCC
There is increasing recognition that the effective acquisition and interpretation of underwater video and still image data for biodiversity is growing in importance. Numerous organisations (e.g. Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies (SNCBs), Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authorities (IFCAs), environmental consultancy agencies, industry and academic institutes) are now engaged in this work for a variety of different purposes, including:
- Characterisation of epifaunal attributes of seabed habitats and features e.g. in support of OSPAR drivers, the UK Marine Strategy, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Water Framework Directive, designation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs, European and National), marine development applications and licensing.
- Monitoring trends in seabed habitat features and their associated epibiotic communities, e.g. in support of monitoring the effectiveness of management measures implemented to achieve given conservation objectives within MPAs and also to assess and monitor predicted impacts for given marine developments and the effectiveness of mitigation measures implemented.
- Marine habitat mapping of physical seabed habitats and features in support of a variety of national and international initiatives, e.g. Integrated Mapping For the Sustainable Development of Ireland's Marine Resource (INFOMAR).
NMBAQC is committed to further developing this component through the implementation of the UK Benthic Imagery Action Plan. This Action Plan provides a strategic framework to carry out necessary improvements to a wide range of imagery analysis standards in a collaborative and coherent way, so that national resources are used more efficiently. There will also be greater opportunities for knowledge exchange and collaborative working via the Big Picture Group, a working group tasked with implementing the Action Plan.
Epibiota Operational & Analysis Guidelines
Following on from the September Video Analysis workshop 2013 workshop, NMBAQC together with JNCC, with input from many other experts in the field, developed Best Practice Guides for the operational and analysis aspects of epibiota monitoring.
The NMBAQC Epibiota Remote Monitoring from Digital Imagery: Operational Guidelines (2015) and Analysis Guidelines (2016) provide a summary of current best practice for the acquisition of video and stills imaging of benthic substrata and epibenthic species to ensure that data collected are fit for purpose in relation to the needs and requirements of a survey.
Hitchin, R., Turner, J.A., and Verling, E., 2015. NMBAQC/JNCC Epibiota Remote Monitoring from Digital Imagery: Operational Guidelines. 25 pp, July 2015.
The Epibiota remote monitoring from digital imagery: Interpretation Guidelines provide a summary of current best practice for the interpretation of video and stills imaging data of benthic substrates and epibenthic species to ensure that data are interpreted in in relation to the needs and requirements of a survey.
Turner, J.A., Hitchin, R., Verling, E., van Rein, H., 2016. Epibiota remote monitoring from digital imagery: Interpretation guidelines.
Should you wish to contribute to further epibiota activities, please contact at James Albrecht at JNCC