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Partnership To Deliver Marine Evidence

UK - Two government bodies have signed an innovative agreement that will enable cost savings and best use of complementary capabilities in each organisation.

The partnership agreement, signed by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), will support national obligations to achieve challenging objectives for marine nature conservation and biodiversity protection.

Closer collaboration in the collection of at-sea data will provide better evidence for decision-makers. Integrated monitoring programmes in the field - focusing on water chemistry, biodiversity, seabed imagery and sea-bird/mammal observations - will generate combined geodata sets that provide a more comprehensive view of the state of the marine environment.

Richard Judge, Cefas' Chief Executive, said: "I'm delighted to be able to sign this partnership agreement with our colleagues at JNCC. It's a great example of joint working to deliver the evidence that really helps to inform decisions about the marine environment."

This unique agreement and partnership also provides a basis for the more efficient use of Cefas' research vessel (a highly valuable government-owned asset) and further cost savings, as the needs of different government bodies are aligned.

The application of new technologies and innovations will be supported by the agreement. For example, anchored sampling devices were trialled in UK coastal waters to provide cost-effective baseline contaminant data and assess concentrations of some hazardous substances. Such remote devices demonstrated that more cost-effective methods could be used to gain valuable evidence.

Marcus Yeo, JNCC's Managing Director, said: "Access to the full range of Cefas expertise in marine data and evidence provision will underpin our delivery of biodiversity monitoring and surveillance strategies. JNCC are delighted to be able to realise the benefits from this partnership arrangement."

the Fish Site Editor

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