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 and priorities

The Marine Science Co-ordination Committee (MSCC) is a cross-government committee which aims to coordinate scientific knowledge, resources and communications to support marine policy decisions.

The MSCC has developed a road map to help deliver and co-ordinate marine science in order to achieve the UK vision for ‘clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas’. This will replace the UK Marine Science Strategy.

The summary was published in 2020 and the working groups and partnership initiatives are already working towards meeting the nine high level road map priorities.

The MSCC International Working Group established the UK National Decade Committee for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (UNDOS) to help co-ordinate the UK’s activities and contributions and convey them to the UNDOS.

The most recent MSCC statement highlights the importance of the ocean and how it impacts the economy, food security, societal wellbeing, jobs and climate change resilience. It also summarises the impact of marine climate change in the UK, the role the UK plays in maritime and polar research, and the next steps.

Membership and structure

The MSCC Co-Chairs are Mike Palmer (Marine Scotland) and Deborah Hankins (Defra). 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:

Alongside these members, the Chairs of the MSCC sub-groups (partnership initiatives and working groups) also attend the plenaries.

Partnership initiatives

Working Groups

  • Communications Working Group provides communication expertise to the MSCC and sub-groups

  • International Working Group (IWG) provides advice, guidance and involvement relating to international marine science and policy engagement. It is also the National Decade Committee for the UN Decade

  • Marine Assessment and Reporting Group co-ordinates four evidence groups working towards to the UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy (UKMMAS) including delivering on the Marine Strategy (parts one, two and three and the OSPAR Quality Status Report 2023.

  • Marine Industries Group provides advice to the MSCC on matters relating to the marine industry sector, including fisheries, renewables, oil and gas and shipping

  • Research Vessel Working Group oversees the strategic co-ordination of the UK’s fleet of seven large (more than 50 m) public sector research vessels owned and operated by UKRI, academic institutes and government across the devolved administrations

  • Social Science Task Group strongly focus on the improved recognition and inclusion of social science and social indicators into the UK Marine Strategy


From 2021 the MSCC will sit four times a year. The Spring and Autumn plenaries are thematic sessions on current and emerging marine issues. The Summer and Winter plenaries are for the subgroups to report and present their full activities. Members of the MSCC are invited to attend all meetings.

The next meeting will be:

  • June 2021 (subgroup reporting)
  • September 2021 (strategic)


Please contact the MSCC Secretariat for minutes from older meetings.

Key documents


Please contact the secretariat for any questions regarding the MSCC or any of the sub-groups.

MSCC Secretariat
Partnerships Office
National Oceanography Centre
European Way
SO14 3ZH


Contact details