Marine Science Co-ordination Committee (MSCC)
We identify opportunities for the alignment and development of UK marine science to inform policy decisions and forward implementation of the UK Marine Science Strategy.
Role of the group
We are a steering committee and aim to identify opportunities for improved collaboration and co-ordination of scientific knowledge, resources and communication in the UK to support policy decisions. Secondly, we aim to drive forward the implementation of the UK Marine Science Strategy. We have developed a Strategic implementation plan 2015 to 2025 (MSCC/SIP/2016) (PDF, 1.79MB, 49 pages) outlining the key topics for policy decision-making and implementation of the strategy which is reviewed annually.
We are working towards achieving clean, healthy, safe, productive, biologically diverse oceans and seas. Our priorities are:
- understanding how the marine ecosystem functions
- responding to climate change and its interaction with the marine environment
- sustaining and increasing ecosystem benefits
We are a partnership of government departments, devolved administrations of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, environment agencies and research bodies involved in funding and providing marine science in the UK.
The committee has four cross-cutting strategic areas each with a working group: science alignment, data monitoring and assessment, economic growth, and communication.
Current members are senior representatives of government departments which fund marine science, devolved administrations and the main bodies which fund, provide and use marine science:
- Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI)
- Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)
- Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)
- Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC)
- Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
- Department for International Development (DfID)
- Department for Transport (DfT)
- Environment Agency (EA)
- Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)
- Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC)
- Marine and Environmental Data and Information Network (MEDIN)
- Marine Management Organisation (MMO)
- Marine Scotland
- Met Office
- Ministry of Defence (MOD)
- Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
- Natural Resources Wales
- The Northern Ireland Executive
- Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
- The Crown Estate
- The Scottish Government
- United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO)
- Welsh Government
Additional members include four non-executive members, an ad hominem appointment and a marine industries representative:
- Professor Mike Elliott: Director of the Institute of Estuarine & Coastal Studies and Professor of Estuarine and Coastal Sciences at the University of Hull, UK - appointed as Non-Executive Member of the MSCC on 1 July 2014
- Dr Mark James: Operations Director of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland - appointed as Non-Executive Member of the MSCC on 1 July 2014
- Professor Michel J Kaiser: Professor of Marine Conservation Ecology at the School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University, Member of the Board of Seafish, and an independent Member of the Board of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee - appointed as Non-Executive Member of the MSCC on 1 July 2014
- Dr Tavis Potts: Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Aberdeen - appointed as Non-Executive Member of the MSCC on 1 July 2014
- Professor Stephen de Mora, Chief Executive, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and PML Applications Ltd
- Dr Steve Freeman: Director, The Renewables Consulting Group
Terms of reference and minutes
The committee meets twice a year and is alternately chaired by the Marine Directors from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Marine Scotland.
The MSCC Terms of Reference (PDF, 448KB, 3 pages) describe our aims, structure and how we work.
We publish our meeting minutes:
MSCC meeting: 16 March 2016 (PDF, 482KB, 16 pages)
MSCC meeting: 21-22 September 2016 (PDF, 555KB, 17 pages)
Update report from the working groups: March to August 2015 (PDF, 175KB, 7 pages)
Update report from the working groups: September 2015 to February 2016 (PDF, 253KB, 8 pages)
Minutes from older meetings are available on the National Archives website.
The Executive Committee provides oversight and direction to the full committee on the content of its meetings and its work programme.
The MSCC Executive Committee Terms of Reference (PDF, 58.2KB, 2 pages) describe the role of the Executive Committee.
Ministerial Marine Science Group
This group oversees the work of the MSCC, and reports on how the MSCC is carrying out the UK Marine Science Strategy. Chaired by the Minister for Natural Environment and Fisheries, Defra, the group is made up of ministers from the following devolved administrations and UK government departments:
- The Scottish Government
- Northern Ireland Executive
- Welsh Assembly Government
- Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
- Department of Energy and Climate Change
- Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- Department for Transport
- Department for International Development
Work by the MSCC is reported via annual updates to the Strategic implementation plan 2015 to 2025. This replaces the earlier reports by the Marine Science Co-ordination Committee to the Ministerial Marine Science Group prior to 2014.
Strategic areas and working groups
We have four strategic areas each with a working group.
- Strategic areas and working groups (PDF, 49.7KB, 1 page)
Recent papers and publications are included here; older papers are available on the National Archives website.
Science Alignment Working Group
Overviews the alignment of scientific effort across MSCC members in areas of high impact, and assesses the related capacity and capability to deliver robust and impartial scientific evidence suitable for policy purposes. Members are funders, policymakers, Government agencies and marine science professionals.
DATA MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT
Marine Assessment and Reporting Group
Provides overall direction to UK marine monitoring programmes. It defines monitoring programmes for the assessment and management of the marine environment, and oversees implementation of the UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy. It has overseen production of Charting Progress 2. It’s a comprehensive assessment of the state of UK seas, and development of the UK’s targets, indicators and monitoring programme under the EU marine strategy framework directive.
- Minutes: MSCC Marine Assessment and Reporting Group meeting 19 May 2015 (PDF, 112KB, 12 pages)
Members of the group include policy makers, government agencies and representatives from marine institutes, marine monitoring and data management bodies:
Marine Environmental Data and Information Network
The Marine Environmental Data and Information Network (MEDIN) provides secure long-term management of marine data sets through a network of specialist Data Archive Centres, and guidance, contractual clauses and software tools to support best practice data management.
Marine Research Vessels Group
Assesses the UK marine science fleet: 7 marine research vessels over 50 metres in length owned and/or operated by the Natural Environment Research Council, government departments, devolved administrations and academic institutions. Looks at the fleet capabilities and capacity and coordinate efficient and effective operation. We investigate the potential for new technologies, exchange of ship programme information and joint procurement. Members are representatives from UK government organisations. The following publications from the group are available:
MSCC Research Vessels Group Terms of Reference (PDF, 135KB, 2 pages)
UK Integrated Marine Observing Network (UK-IMON)
The UK Integrated Marine Observing Network Group (UK-IMON) has been established by MSCC and is the UK ocean observing and monitoring network. It improves the evidence base for assessments of environmental status, using cost-effective technologies.
UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy Evidence Groups
The Marine Assessment and Reporting Group oversees and coordinates the activities of the four UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy (UKMMAS) evidence groups which bring together managers and experts from the different marine monitoring organisations in the UK:
- Clean and Safe Seas Evidence Group
- Healthy and Biologically Diverse Seas Evidence Group
- Productive Seas Evidence Group
- Ocean Processes Evidence Group
Underwater Sound Forum
The Underwater Sound Forum is made up of representatives of the key stakeholders within the UK marine and maritime community (government, academic, NGO and industry) that have an interest in how the UK manages the issue of underwater sound in the science, technology, policy and legal areas.
Marine Industries Liaison Group
Provides advice and guidance on matters relating to the marine and marine science industries. The group is mainly concerned with cross-cutting strategic issues. Commissioned a review of UK public and private sector marine science and evidence needs to identify the capability of the public and private sectors and opportunities for the growth of marine industries. More information can be found in the Marine science and private sector report (PDF, 1.71MB, 97 pages) . Group members are representatives from the main marine and maritime industry sectors.
The following material from this group has been published:
Draft minutes of the MSCC Marine Industries Liaison Group meeting 8 November 2016 (PDF, 435KB, 13 pages)
MSCC Marine Industries Liaison Group Terms of Reference (PDF, 235KB, 2 pages)
Earlier material is available on the National Archives website.
Communication Working Group
Provides advice and guidance on the communication of marine science matters, promotes the UK Marine Science Strategy and the function of the MSCC.
Minutes: MSCC Communication Working Group meeting 16 December 2014 (PDF, 63.3KB, 5 pages)
MSCC Communications Working Group Terms of Reference (PDF, 44.9KB, 2 pages)
Marine Ripple Effect
We have established the Marine Ripple Effect on Twitter. It’s a news alert system, to encourage the communication across the marine science community.
- Marine Ripple Effect - further information (PDF, 15KB, 1 page)
Marine Science Events Calendar
The UK Marine Science Events Calendar, is a free online events calendar for the publication of marine science events.
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