Select Committee on Science and Technology Written Evidence

Annex 1 (continued)


  Estimated baseline costs to meet current legislative and obligatory commitments (in italic font).

  Through the UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy (UKMMAS) the costs associated with marine monitoring in the UK and borne by various Government Departments, Agencies and the Devolved Administrations have been estimated at around £37 million per annum.

  Estimated cost of new monitoring requirements likely to be required in the coming years (in bold font).

  There are a number of emerging drivers which require or recommend additional marine monitoring.

  National: Firstly, the UK report Charting Progress on the status of the UK Marine Environment drew attention to the fact that in general, it was difficult to say definitively whether the status of UK marine waters were good or not because many key indicators of status were not being measured, and recommendations were made to rectify this situation. It is also desirable to harmonise data collection and storage and make the information easily accessible to stakeholders and the public.

  European and International: The recently adopted Water Framework Directive and the Draft European Marine Strategy Directive (EMSD) require monitoring programmes to show whether UK waters will achieve good environmental status. The bathing Waters Directive is being revised to include new parameters, and the OSPAR Convention is developing new indicators to show whether the seas are achieving good ecological status and are biodiverse.

  New concerns such the effects of climate change, ocean acidification, noise and mapping the sea bed: The major impacts of these drivers are poorly understood and require a mix of physical, chemical and biological monitoring.

  Uncertainty in the additional costs for new marine monitoring.

  The UKMMAS Partners have been trying to build up a picture of the likely costs of the monitoring to meet the drivers and concerns listed above. However, until a consensus arises at European level and it becomes clearer exactly what is considered to be an appropriate suite of indicators to show whether the seas are achieving good environmental status, the costs will not be clear. We have therefore given a very conservative estimate of £23 million per annum assuming that a very comprehensive suite of monitoring programmes will be required starting in 2007 and the recommendations of Charting Progress are fully implemented. However, there are already indications from a number of EC Member States that less ambitious programmes may be needed to demonstrate good environmental status, and that additional comprehensive monitoring programmes under the EMSD will not be required for several years. This could mean that a figure of £10 million per annum might suffice to provide an adequate assessment of status.

How do the costs of Marine Monitoring compare with Terrestrial Monitoring?

  Current monitoring spend in the terrestrial environment is >£80 million per annum. The marine environment is far less understood and is more costly to monitor due to technological requirements and the need for seagoing vessels.

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