OSPAR launches its 2017 Intermediate Assessment

Posted on Jun 29, 2017

OSPAR intermediate assessment

OSPAR's Intermediate Assessment 2017 was launched yesterday.

This assessment, covering both status and trends across the North-East Atlantic, presents a picture of this important marine area and includes consideration of biological diversity, eutrophication, hazardous substances, radioactive substances, offshore oil and gas industries, a range of other human pressures, ocean acidification and the impact of a changing ocean climate. Attention is given to socio-economic analysis and the methodology required to undertake a full ecosystem assessment. Finally, the IA 2017 presents key messages and headline information that will set the foundation for progress and development.

See the key messages and highlights

Whale mass strandings - the nexus between conservation and welfare

Posted on Jun 23, 2017

Whale stranding

MBA member Karen Stockin delivered the Citadel Hill seminar this week on the often-overlooked human impacts on cetaceans in mass strandings.

Globally, whale strandings continue to fascinate and intrigue scientists and the public alike. New Zealand in particular, has an international reputation for its high frequency of mass strandings. Moreover, the extensive public engagements that occur during strandings of charismatic megafauna are unprecedented. For example, whale mass strandings bring together pākehā (non-Māori New Zealander) and Māori cultures in New Zealand in a way few other activities do.

Despite costly, and often logistically challenging attempts to rescue live whales, a lack of scientific evaluation underpins current decision-making processes. Notably, matters of conservation (survivorship/fitness) and animal welfare (impacts of refloatation), remain...

MBA PhD student wins Institute for Life Sciences (IfLS) sponsored prize

Posted on Jun 14, 2017

Harriet Dale, winner of Institute for Life Sciences (IfLS) sponsored prize

PhD student in Marine Ecology (NOC) Harriet Dale recently won a grant at the Next Generation Sequencing Symposium in Southampton. Her project entitled “Sequencing a marine worm’s microbiome” highlighted the importance of these invertebrates in controlling biogeochemical processes.

The competition involved giving a 3-minute presentation at the Symposium at Southampton General Hospital campus (17 th May, 2017), outlining what next generation sequencing research you would undertake with the grant money awarded from the Institute of Life Sciences at Southampton University.

Harriet, who is undertaking her PhD at the Marine Biological Association said, " Thank you to the symposium organisers and audience members for this great opportunity to further incorporate NGS data into my sediment ecology PhD research! I'll now be able to more closely examine the influence of...

A new portal for information on the Celtic Sea

Posted on Jun 13, 2017

A harbour in the Celtic Sea area

The Celtic Seas Partnership (CSP) project, now complete, aimed to draw people together from across the Celtic Seas to set up collaborative and innovative approaches to managing their marine environment.

A key output of the Partnership has been the development of a web-based information portal by the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) to provide access to data, metadata and documentation specifically relating to the MSFD. The information portal comprises two parts:

a data catalogue for users to find datasets relevant to the 11 MSFD Descriptors and a resource library for MSFD related websites, articles and reports


For further information and to answer any questions, please email Gaynor Evans, gaev@bodc.ac.uk

An event to raise awareness of plastic pollution

Posted on Jun 13, 2017

Litter on beach

CoCoastSW Plastic Awareness event

Thursday 15 th June 2017

All the plastic ever made is still on our planet and will be for hundreds of years. Capturing our Coast Southwest at the Marine Biological Association (MBA) are raising awareness of the impacts they are having on our oceans and what we can all do to reduce it.

CoCoastSW will be running a local beach clean followed by an evening seminar on Thursday 15 th June. The Marine Conservation Society will be joining us during the day as we record data at Jennycliff Beach for MCS Beachwatch, a national beach cleaning and litter surveying programme.

In the evening we are delighted to have a special guest lecture at the MBA by Professor Richard Thompson from Plymouth University who has been researching the effects of plastics in our oceans for over 20 years. We will also be joined by a...

Nominate a marine unsung hero!

Posted on Jun 13, 2017

Photo: Paula Lightfoot

Looking for outstanding #BiologicalRecorders

Nominate your marine #UnsungHero for #NBNAwards17 bit.ly/NBNawards

Closes: 31 July 2017

Nominations have opened for the 2017 UK Awards for Biological Recording and Information Sharing!

Developed in 2015 by the National Biodiversity Network, the National Forum for Biological Recording and the Biological Records Centre, these annual Awards celebrate the individuals, the newcomers and the groups of people or organisations that are making outstanding contributions to biological recording and improving our understanding of the natural world in the UK.

There are six categories of awards this year:

Gilbert White Youth Award for terrestrial and freshwater wildlife Gilbert White Adult Award for terrestrial and freshwater wildlife David Robertson Youth Award for marine and coastal wildlife David Robertson Adult Award for marine and coastal wildlife Lynne Farrell Group Award for wildlife recording Adult Newcomer Award

All too often the...

World Ocean Day - inclement weather curbs events but not enthusiasm!

Posted on Jun 9, 2017

Sea of hope

World Ocean Day is a movement that aims to bring ocean issues to the fore and to strengthen the voice of ocean and coastal constituencies world wide.

Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World Oceans Day 2017 said " A healthy ocean requires robust global knowledge of ocean science. We cannot manage what we cannot measure, and no single country is able to measure the myriad changes taking place in the ocean. "

World Ocean Day brought high winds and heavy rain to southwest England. The Marine Biological Association celebrated the day with:

A tour of the MBA's Citadel Hill research facilities followed by a workshop on Ocean Literacy, for the National Marine Aquarium’s Marine Science Club.


An evening plankton workshop for young people was held at the Mount Batten Centre in Plymouth.