MPA condition assessment: approaches and evidence sources

Improving understanding of marine evidence in Welsh waters to support condition assessment of MPAs

ABPmer was commissioned by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to help develop an improved understanding of existing marine evidence in Welsh waters to support the assessment of the condition of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Monitoring of the marine environment can be expensive. NRW and other public bodies with statutory remits for marine monitoring already collect a wide range of data to support their functions. In line with the ‘collect once, use many times’ philosophy, it is desirable to make best use of existing data where this can avoid requirements for new primary data collection.

The outputs of the review resulted in recommendations concerning how the condition assessment process could be further developed in Wales. This is in recognition of NRW’s desire to develop a new serviceable and streamlined approach to condition assessments for Welsh MPAs that can be embedded into their internal assessment and reporting tools and processes.