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Development of a framework for Mapping European Seabed Habitats

Acronym: MESH
Period: 2004 till 2010
Status: Completed

Thesaurus terms: Benthos; Modelling; Seabed habitats; Seafloor mapping
Geographical terms: ANE, Europe, Northwest [Marine Regions]; ANE, North Sea [Marine Regions]

Institutes (12)  Top 
  • Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), more, promotor
  • Universiteit Gent; Faculteit Wetenschappen; Vakgroep Geologie; Renard Centre of Marine Geology (RCMG), more, partner
  • Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER), more, partner
  • Marine Institute Ireland (MI), more, partner
  • Wageningen University and Research Centre; Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies (IMARES), more, partner
  • TNO, more, partner
  • Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), more, partner
  • Envision Management Ltd, more, partner
  • Natural England, more, partner
  • Natural Environment Research Council; British Geological Survey (BGS), more, partner
  • National Museum of Wales (NMGW), more, partner
  • Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), more, partner

MESH is an international marine habitat mapping programme that started in spring 2004 and will last until January 2008. A consortium of 12 partners across the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium and France gained financial support from the EU INTERREG IIIB fund for this international programme. The MESH partnership covers all five countries in the Interreg (IIIb) north-west Europe area, drawing together scientific and technical habitat mapping skills, expertise in data collation and its management, and proven practical experience in the use of seabed habitat maps for environmental management within
national regulatory frameworks.

MESH aims to produce seabed habitat maps for north-west Europe and develop international standards and protocols for seabed mapping studies. The end products are a meta database of mapping studies, a web-delivered geographic information system (GIS) showing the habitat maps, guidance for marine habitat mapping including protocols and standards, a report describing case histories of habitat mapping, a stakeholder database and an international conference with published proceedings.

The project has six scientific work-packages:

  • Generating habitat maps for north-west Europe

  • Developing standards and protocols for marine habitat mapping

  • Testing these protocols

  • Predictive modelling

  • Demonstrating applications of habitat maps for spatial planning and environmental management

  • Communicating the results

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