News story

Changes to processes for sediment sampling and analysis

Additional laboratories now validated to provide sediment sampling and analysis as part of the marine licensing process.


The MMO has now validated other laboratories to provide analysis of sediment samples. As a result it is changing relevant parts of the marine licensing pre-application process.

Applications for marine licences which require analysis for chemical, physical and biological determinands must have an associated sample plan agreed in advance by the MMO. Previously analysis was only provided by the MMO’s technical advisors, The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas). However in order to provide additional choice to applicants other laboratories have now been validated to provide this service.

New process from 1 April 2018

From 1 April 2018 the MMO will only accept requests and provide responses for sample plans to applicants through our Marine Case Management System (MCMS) online portal.

All sample plan responses issued after this date will include a list of laboratories which have been validated to undertake sediment analysis, as well as the specific determinands which they are validated to analyse. The list of individual determinands can also be viewed on the MMO website.

This change means that once the MMO has issued the sample plan, applicants will be able to make their own independent choice on where to obtain sediment analysis. They will need to contact that laboratory directly to undertake the required analysis.

After the MMO has issued the sample plan response with link to validated laboratories it will close the pre-application sample plan request in MCMS.

Whichever validated laboratory is used to undertake sediment analysis, the applicant must submit the results to the MMO on the correct template (available from the MMO website) to accompany a marine licence application (where applicable). This also applies to marine licences with a requirement to periodically provide sediment analyses to the MMO over the duration of that licence.

Published 7 March 2018