The Marine Evidence Group (‘the Group’) was established in July 2012 to fulfil measures on improving marine data and evidence set out in the Habitats and Wild Birds Directives Implementation Review(‘the Review’). In particular, it was a response to ongoing difficulties in assessing the impacts of marine developments on protected sites and species. The Group is doing this by addressing gaps in evidence that can create uncertainties when undertaking Habitats Regulations Assessments which may hamper fast, effective and proportionate decision-making.
This report provides an update on the progress made so far by the Marine Evidence Group in addressing the key evidence gaps identified in the Habitats and Wild Birds Directives Implementation Review and on improving access and use of data. The Group has agreed five initial recommendations covering how the evidence base can be improved further and how an improved use of evidence might be built in to the decision making system.