Research and analysis

Evidence projects register

The MMO has published a register of our evidence projects that we will update as each new project is initiated or published.



The MMO has produced a series of reports addressing evidence to support our decision making. The evidence register contains information about each of these studies including a link to the individual reports and, where relevant, their datasets.

Project title Project aim / description
Socio economic research on coastal communities (MMO1001) Understanding of the potential for Marine Planning to facilitate socio-economic opportunities for communities on the coast.
Evaluation of the current state of knowledge on potential cumulative effects from offshore wind farms (OWF) to inform marine planning and licensing (MMO1009) To provide as comprehensive an evidence base as possible to inform the potential cumulative effects from OWF developments and other major marine development in light of current and future policy drivers.
Evaluation of the potential for co-location of activities and interests in marine plan areas (MMO1010) To provide a comprehensive evidence base to inform the opportunities for co-locating current and future activities in Marine Plan areas, with specific emphasis on the East of England.
Evaluating the distribution trends and value of inshore and offshore fisheries in England (MMO1011) To collate existing information to identify best available evidence on the nature, location, trends, and socio-economic value of all fishing activities carried out in English Waters, to inform the development of Marine Plans.
A review of marine social and economic data and review of tools and methods to apply marine social and economic data to decision making (MMO1012) To identify, collate and analyse socio-economic data and tools to identify current trends and data gaps and propose recommendations for addressing these. (Joint project with Marine Scotland).
Compilation of spatial data on marine recreational activities (MMO1013) To compile all available data on the spatial distribution of marine recreational activities in England.
Recommendations on the use of habitats maps in the planning process and requirements for future planning areas (MMO1014) To enhance the current information available on seabed habitats, particularly for priority areas such as the East Inshore and Offshore areas, to support marine planning and licensing.
Val-mer (valuing marine ecosystems services in Europe) project contribution (MMO1016) To identify and quantify the range of ecosystem services provided by the marine environment in locations along the South coast of England and North of France.
Fast track licensing development tier 1 (MMO1018) Develop processes and guidance for a fast track licensing system.
Marine mammal spatial data collation and interpretation (MMO1022) An in-depth understanding of marine mammal distribution within the East Coast of England.
Legacy licensing data assurance project (MMO1025) Create a set of MMO corporate geographic information system (GIS) data layers which define the spatial location of legacy MMO licences and provide a summary of the supporting licence data and documentation.
Review of marine aggregate regional environmental assessments (MAREA) (MMO1028) Review the outstanding regional environmental assessments (REAs) and co-ordinate a review by MMO primary advisors to deem REAs appropriate for inclusion in site-specific environmental impact assessments.
Review of post consent offshore wind farm monitoring data associated with marine licence conditions (MMO1031) Review the post-consent monitoring data collected from offshore wind farm (OWF) developments in order to provide a synthesis of the evidence associated with observed environmental impacts, and make recommendations for maximising the effectiveness of future monitoring
Updated bird distribution and sensitivity (MMO1034) Produce an assessment of seabird density around English waters in combination with a review of the relative sensitivity of each species to offshore developments. (Joint project with Natural England)
Social impacts of fisheries, aquaculture, recreation and tourism and marine protected areas in marine plan areas in England (MMO1035) Increase our understanding of social impacts and value of some marine activities included in marine planning and other MMO functions. Identify key knowledge gaps.
Character assessment for the south inshore and south offshore marine plan areas (MMO1037) Provide a seascape character assessment for the South Inshore and South Offshore marine plan areas in England.
Compilation of information on tourism relevant to marine planning in the south inshore and south offshore marine plan areas (MMO1038) Provide an assessment of tourism information for the South marine plan areas to support marine planning.
Review of the past trends and projections for the next 6 and 20 years for industry sectors in the south marine plan areas (MMO1039) Produce evidence on the nature and scale of the future development of each marine policy statement sector.
Spatial trends in aquaculture potential in the south and east coast inshore and offshore marine plan areas (MMO1040) Spatially delineate areas that have potential for future aquaculture development in MMO South and East coast inshore and offshore marine plan areas and assign an estimate of the potential economic return of aquaculture development in these areas.
Spatial trends in shipping activity with a focus on MMO south marine plan areas (MMO1042) Create spatial data products which describe spatial trends in shipping activity throughout England to provide a national context to marine planning decisions made at a plan area scale.
Spatial trends in marine recreational activity (with a specific focus on MMO south inshore and south offshore marine plan areas) (MMO1043) Create or enhance data which describes spatial trends in recreational activity throughout England.
Spatial models of essential fish habitat (South Inshore and Offshore Marine Plan Areas) (MMO1044) Improve the spatial resolution of data on essential fish habitats (including nursery and spawning sites and routes for migration and movement) for key commercial species in the South Inshore and South Offshore marine plan areas.
Practical framework for outlining the integration of the ecosystem approach into marine planning in England, (MMO1048) Outline a framework that demonstrates how MMO marine planning will use an ecosystem based approach.
Scoping of a robust strategic assessment tool for co-location of activities in marine plan areas. (MMO1049) Scope the potential to develop a robust and flexible assessment tool for co-location. The tool will consider physical, environmental and socio-economic variables to help deliver effective decisions relating to co-location of sectors/activities within all marine plan areas.
Economic baseline assessment of the south coast (MMO1050) Provide background information for the South Inshore and South Offshore marine plan areas, primarily to inform the economic assessment for the development of the plans.
Future Trends in Fishing and Aquaculture in the South Inshore and Offshore Marine Plan Areas (MMO1051) Provide an analysis of fishing and aquaculture trends in England using currently available evidence. This will be used in the development of scenarios for marine plans which span 20 years and complement trends information relating to the other listed Marine Policy Statement sectors.
High level review of current UK action level (MMO1053) To carry out a high level review of current action level guidance applied by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to the licensing of the disposal of dredged material to sea.
A strategic framework for scoping cumulative effects (MMO1055) Develop a consistent approach to the identification and consideration of cumulative effects that can be applied at the strategic level across all relevant MMO functions.
Fast track licensing phase 2 (MMO1056) Follow on from MMO1018. Identify further low risk licensable marine activities suitable for use in the fast track licensing system and determine defining criteria for fast tracking these activities.
Social impacts and interactions between marine sectors (MMO1060) Provide MMO with a body of evidence on social impacts as an assessment of interactions within and between sectors detailed in the Marine Policy Statement (MPS).
Method and data to monitor the social outcomes of marine plans (MMO1061) Provide MMO with a method and data to monitor implementation of social objectives and policies of marine plans and overall plan derived social outcomes.
Modelling marine recreation potential in England (MMO1064) Expansion of MMO1043 Spatial trends in marine recreational activity to model areas of potential importance for marine recreation at an England scale and to review, develop and test participatory mapping tools and techniques which can be used to facilitate model validation and enhancement.
Enhancing our understanding of seabed habitats and topographic features in the south coast inshore and offshore marine plan areas (MMO1065) Provide MMO with the most up-to-date spatial reference data on environmental conditions and habitats on the seabed in the south coast inshore and offshore marine plan areas to facilitate the preparation and implementation of MMO third and fourth marine plans.
Mapping UK shipping density and routes from AIS open source data and methods (MMO1066) Expansion on MMO1042 Spatial trends in shipping to further develop freely available methods enabling production of UK spatial datasets on shipping activity that are endorsed by shipping industry regulators and representative bodies, UK administrations and other key stakeholders.
Development of criteria and conditions to define exempt tracers (MMO1067) Deliver an initial list of approved marine tracers with associated conditions for exemption, and a process by which new marine tracers can be identified as suitable for inclusion on the approved list.
A scoping report for the south marine plans habitat regulations assessment (MMO1071) Undertake the scoping phase of the Habitat Regulations assessment (HRA) for the South Inshore and South Offshore marine plans (South marine plans).
Use of beneficial dredge materials in the south inshore and offshore marine plan areas (MMO1073) Develop data and maps to describe existing sites of coastal works (replenishment, defence, creation), and future sites of requirement and opportunity in the South marine plan areas.
Scoping the opportunities and challenges to using a core fishing grounds approach to develop a spatial marine plan policy for fishing (MMO1074) Explore the opportunities and challenges of using a core fishing grounds approach to develop spatially explicit marine plan policies for fishing activity.
Exploring the potential of using office of national statistics (ONS) for marine planning (MMO1075) Improve socio-economic evidence supporting English marine plans in a cost-effective way by optimising use of limited public resources.
Potential spatial effects of climate change in the south and east marine plan areas (MMO1077) Use data from the UKCP09 projections and information on the current and predicted use of the south and east marine plan areas to identify which sectors are likely to be at risk to the effects of climate change.
Guidance for marine licensing staff to support the implementation of marine planning policies for socio-economics, tourism and seascape (MMO1078) Produce desk notes for use by MMO marine licensing staff that will support their assessment of marine licence applications against specific policies set out in the East Inshore and Offshore Marine Plans.
Evidence for management of potting impacts (MMO1086) Collate current evidence and research work and develop a programme for future evidence gathering that enables management decisions to be made for potting activity in MPAs. (Project by Defra’s Impacts Evidence Group (IEG)).
Evaluation of marine plan monitoring baselines and method (MMO1087) Evaluate current monitoring programme for the East Inshore and Offshore Marine Plan Areas to highlight improvements to counterfactuals if required.
Method to assess natural variability for inclusion in management decisions (MMO1088) Using currently available data develop a method to assess natural variability that can be used in management advice and decisions for Marine Protected Areas. (Project by Defra’s Impacts Evidence Group (IEG)).
Seascape character description marine areas 10,11 and 5 (north west) (MMO1091/92) Describe the character of the South East, North East and North West Inshore and Offshore marine plan areas.
Ornithological data inventory for offshore wind farm consenting (MMO1093) To produce a database of ornithological impacts of offshore wind for cumulative impact assessment for consenting. This is a collaborative project headed by the DECC Coping Strategy group.
Follow on to MMO1044 essential fish habitat modelling (MMO1096) To get agreement from partners and stakeholders that the MMO1044 essential fish habitat model can be used to identify spawning and nursery areas for consideration in the planning process.
Modelled mapping of underwater noise generated by continuous activities (MMO1097) Produce a data set, in a format usable for planning and to a time frame necessary for underpinning the South Inshore and Offshore Marine Plans, of underwater noise generated by activities.
Review of industry data (MMO1098) To provide a review of access to industry data. (Productive Seas Evidence Group (PSEG) project)
Environmental Remediation (MMO1105) To establish evidence underpinning the idea of bioremediation in the marine environment. Establish feasibility, identify best locations and organisms, and consider appetite/opportunities. This work will inform marine planning policies for the South Marine Plan area
The effects of flash photography on seahorses (MMO1005b) Review of evidence regarding the potential impact of flash photography on UK seahorse species. Establish whether sufficient evidence exists to conclusively determine whether the use of flash photography poses a significant threat to the UK seahorse species.
IEG Spatial footprint method and validation (MMO1108) Test an IFCA developed method for measuring spatial footprint of fishing gear to include in appropriate assessments for Marine Protected Area management. (Project by Defra’s Impacts Evidence Group (IEG)).