Marine Data News Issue 33
July 2016 
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In this issue of Marine Data News...

MEDIN reaches 10,000 datasets

The MEDIN Data Discovery Portal has achieved a huge milestone in its 6 year history. On the 10th of May the 10,000th metadata record was made live and available to the public through the Portal!

The 10,000th metadata record to be published on the MEDIN Data Discovery Portal.
MEDIN Data Discovery Portal

Containing over 11,500 metadata records the Portal, which started with a mere 800 when it first went live in June 2010; has been growing in leaps and bounds in its bid to become “A single point of access for UK marine data and information”.

Marine data in the UK are collected and archived by over 100 organisations, meaning knowing ‘where’ and ‘how to’ access these data for reuse can be confusing and time consuming to say the least. The Portal aims to simplify this process by providing users with a single, authoritative place to find out about marine data from different UK organisations across many marine areas, ranging from marine archaeology to zooplankton.

Each record held in the Portal describes the makeup and location of data from across the spectrum of UK marine subject areas and disciplines, including bathymetry, oceanography, species and habitat, fisheries, marine archaeology, geology and even data collection by UK organisations in non-UK waters.

The 10,000th record

The 10,000th record, entitled "Bathymetric Survey – 2015-07-03 – Beachy Head to Newhaven", describes a multibeam bathymetric dataset collected off the coast of East Sussex in 2015.

This survey forms part of the Civil Hydrography Programme (CHP), a multi-million pound Government initiative led by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) to prioritise and survey the waters surrounding the UK for the update of the nation’s nautical charts and publications. Responsible for an area in excess of 720,000km2, the CHP systematically surveys UK waters to reduce risk to the mariner and aid safe navigation for the Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS).
HI 1477: Beachy Head to Newhaven bathymetry 
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA)
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), an Executive Agency of the Department for Transport; is responsible throughout the UK for developing and implementing the British Government's maritime safety policy. Within this remit, the MCA is accountable for delivering national hydrographic obligations required by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). The MCA discharges its hydrographic responsibilities through the UK Civil Hydrography Programme. 

All MCA CHP bathymetry data is made freely available to the public through the UKHO INSPIRE portal, and in order to ensure the widest possible visibility, the covering metadata is discoverable on the MEDIN website with links to the portal.
MEDIN Data Archive Centre for bathymetry – the UK Hydrographic Office

The UK Hydrographic Office produces navigational charts and a range of other maritime safety and information publications, and is the UK’s Data Archiving Centre for Bathymetry data.

The UKHO undertake the technical monitoring and validation of all the bathymetric data collected under the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s Civil Hydrographic Programme.  The processed data is stored in their internal database and is used to update their charts and other publications.
As well as CHP data, many other data sources such as Port Authorities have agreed to the release of their data on the portal, contributing to the widest possible data coverage in UK waters.

MEDIN welcomes Cefas as its 16th sponsor


The Marine Environmental Data and Information Network  (MEDIN) is delighted to welcome the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science  (Cefas) as its 16th sponsor. Cefas has been an accredited MEDIN Data Archive Centre for fisheries data since 2012 and has now further cemented its engagement with MEDIN by becoming a sponsor.

Cefas is an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), and is a world leader in marine science and technology, providing innovative solutions for the aquatic environment, biodiversity and food security. Cefas works with the UK government and UK Overseas Territories, international governments, public and private sector organisations, educational and research institutions, as well as non-governmental organisations.

In using its Research Vessel, Cefas Endeavour, and a network of fixed buoys, gliders, and other remote observing techniques, Cefas generates considerable quantities of data.  Cefas has been working hard to support commitments to open data access and open science and have developed the Cefas Data Hub – an online portal allowing the public and UK businesses to explore, download and reuse the data for their own research (Open Government Licence terms and conditions apply). Cefas currently have information on 1862 data holdings, with 5463 data sets available for download. Datasets available include many legacy datasets covering subjects such as fish, shellfish and plankton survey data from the 1980’s to the present day, crab tagging data, otolith sample data, records relating to the MEDIN Marine Fisheries Data Archive Centre, water temperature, salinity, and sediment data from across the UK continental shelf.
Cefas, along with MEDIN’s fifteen other sponsors (, recognise the benefit of a collaborative funding model for MEDIN, which allows sponsors the leverage associated with a half a million pound per year project, for a relatively small outlay per sponsor.
MEDIN benefits the entire marine community by delivering:
  • A coordinated network of accredited Data Archive Centres, managing a wide range of valuable, specialist marine data.
  • A single place to search for marine data managed or owned by hundreds of organisations.
  • Standards for archiving marine data so that they can be more easily found and used.
  • Assurance that UK marine data initiatives are in line with European and wider International projects.
If your organisation is interested in becoming a MEDIN sponsor please contact for further details.

Marine Scotland Information goes live

Marine Scotland has launched the latest component of its open data network, Marine Scotland Information.
A portal that provides context and background information on data being released, Marine Scotland Information is the gathering point of map layers from National Marine Planning interactive (NMPi), data sets from the existing Marine Scotland interactive (MSi) and data from Marine Scotland's data publishing portal.
The Marine Scotland Open Data Network now consist of three tools to access and explore data and information:
  • National Marine Plan interactive  - map layers supporting marine planning, and providing information about Scotland's seas
  • Marine Data for Scotland - downloadable reports and data files for a variety of activities. All datasets have citeable DOI, and additional metadata.
  •  Marine Scotland Information - gathering all the map and data resources, and placing them in context. Providing background information in themes that are aligned with Scottish Governments vision for healthy, clean and safe, biologically diverse, and  productive Scottish Seas.
The New portal replaces existing parts of the Marine Scotland website - namely the individual information pages on map layers from NMPi , and the web site pages from Marine Scotland interactive (MSi). These  two resources were initially built as early data sharing tools that provided tailored  functions which are now embedded within the new Marine Scotland Information portal, along with added flexibility for creating new content and automatically linking the maps, and data site content into the portal, using web services.

As the Scottish component of FishDAC, Marine Scotland s already using the open data network to make data available on fish stocks and fishing activity. Additional data are going to be published on the network continuously, and the new MEDIN DAC page is now available on

Marine Scotland will be extending the MEDIN metadata coverage to include more maps and data from the open data network as part of the new site.

RCAHMW accredited as a MEDIN Data Archive Centre for the Historic Environment

In July 2016 MEDIN approved the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW) as part of an accredited Data Archive Centre (DAC) for the Historic Environment, recognising their commitment to ensuring that information about the marine historic environment of Wales is properly documented, preserved and accessible.  Accreditation will help raise the profile of the historic environment with those working in the marine industry and encourage deposition of archives and use of Welsh data, which in turn can help to deliver effective stewardship of our fragile maritime past. RCAHMW join the Archaeology Data Service and Historic Environment Scotland, which were accredited in 2012 and 2014 respectively.
MEDIN is a partnership of public and private sector UK organisations set up to promote good governance of marine data. Marine data is expensive to collect and provides a unique snapshot in time and location of the richness and condition of our coasts and seas. MEDIN makes it easier to share and re-use marine data through the consistent application of standards, a network of specialist, accredited marine Data Archive Centres (DACs) and the MEDIN Data Discovery Portal.

The history of Wales is intimately bound up with the sea. As a country bordered on three sides by coastline, Wales has looked to the sea as a source of food, a means of transport, and a route of communication. The sea has played a major part in the growth of industry and commerce, and drawn people to it for leisure and recreation. From the coastal remains left by Wales’s earliest inhabitants and the preserved landscapes now beneath the waves, to the wrecks of ships that distributed the products of the Welsh industrial powerhouse to the rest of the world, maritime archaeology is of the utmost importance in understanding Wales’s development across the millennia, from prehistory to the present day. Hundreds of archaeologically and historically important sites have been identified around the Welsh coasts, and to date over 5,600 vessels have been recorded as being lost in Welsh waters by RCAHMW.
Paul, NPRN 2736, Tywyn Point, Pembrey, AP_2012_2465
RCAHMW’s site data and related archive can be accessed via Coflein, the online catalogue of archaeology, buildings, industrial and maritime heritage in Wales.

Enquiries about landscape and maritime archaeology, historic buildings and landmarks are answered by a dedicated reader services team, and our search room, which includes a specialist reference library, can be visited during public opening hours.

Marine Science Data Management Special Interest Group 

The first meeting of the Marine Science Data Management Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting is to take place on Friday 9th September in Liverpool, following on from the Challenger Society 2016 Conference. 

The SIG meeting is an opportunity for all interested parties from research science, data management and commerce to discuss common challenges and solutions – potential or already developed – to improve end-to-end data management across the spectrum of marine sciences.   

There is no set focus for this first meeting and the co-conveners are welcoming submissions of relevant talks or discussion.

Topics already suggested included:

  • Institutional data management practices;
  • Data and metadata standards;
  • Legacy data and ageing formats;
  • Community developed software and sharing;
  • Data visualisation and analysis tools;
  • Ensuring data reusability;
  • Ensuring sufficient resource is in place to support data management activities;
  • The 2-sides of data management: information curation and technical support;
  • Data management awareness and training;
  • Platform specific data management challenges, especially regarding autonomous and near real time systems.
The ¾ day event will include oral, poster and discussion sessions.  Oral presentations can be as short as a 5 minute flash presentation or up to a maximum of 20 minutes to allow you to present on anything from a single specific challenge through to a fully-fledged success.

We plan to have two main ‘deliverables’ from the meeting:
  1. Produce a summary report focused on the outcome of discussions and any particular themes or direction that emerge from the day;
  2. Form a steering group of interested parties to drive the future direction of the SIG.

To registration simply e-mail to commit to attending with your name, affiliation, talk or poster title, desired duration of the talk including time for questions and an abstract of up to 200 words.    

Please register interest by emailing by Matt Donnelly (BODC), by Friday 29th July.

Deadline for submitting your presentation title and abstract is the Friday 12th August. 

Where these deadlines pose a problem for those engaged in fieldwork/leave please get in touch and we’ll attempt to accommodate you.

Free MEDIN Workshops


MEDIN are pleased to announce another series of their very popular and well received workshops on marine data management, for the coming year. Three free one-day workshops will take place in September 2016, November 2016 and in January 2017. These workshops are designed to help individuals and organisations make their marine data holdings discoverable and re-usable by future users.

The workshops are modular, with a morning session on MEDIN Data Guidelines and an afternoon session on the MEDIN Discovery Metadata Standard and tools. MEDIN are happy for users to attend either the full day or just the morning or afternoon session, as best suits individual needs.

This year sees a change in approach to the session on Data Guidelines. Whereas before the focus was one particular Guideline, MEDIN will are now going to personalise each session, with the guidelines to be worked through varying between attendees, tailoring the work to attendees depending on their individual data requirements. One session may therefore cover Data Guidelines on bathymetry and biodiversity and geophysics, depending on who attends. MEDIN will contact registered attendees in advance of the workshops to identify which guidelines suit their data

For full information on the workshops, and to register, please go to


Request for feedback from the underwater acoustic community

To meet the needs of the UK’s underwater noise community, the British Oceanographic Data Centre is working to develop an archival and delivery system for high volume underwater acoustic data. We are primarily focusing on ambient noise and biological detection data.
BODC are looking for feedback from the acoustic community to help with this development. We would therefore be grateful if anyone with an interest in acoustics would please participate in a short online survey, which should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The survey can be found at the following link:
The closing date for the survey is Friday 22nd July 2016. We appreciate your feedback.

PREMIAM Conference 2016

The Premian Post-Spill Conference, held in June 2016, included a session on Data Technology. All the speakers’ presentations and delegate notes are now available on the Premiam website

Introduction to Coastal and Marine GIS

ABPmer's experienced GIS consultants have teamed up with GeoData's GIS trainers to provide a 3 day course that uses real world projects to illustrate how marine and coastal datasets can be used to support decision-making. 

26 to 28 July 2016, Southampton
1 to 3 November 2016, Southampton

More information...

Challenger Society 2016 Conference

Attended by hundreds of researchers from the UK and world-wide, the conference provides a showcase of marine science and technology, covering all areas of ocean research along with early career events and education & outreach opportunities. This year the conference includes a new session on “Science Impacts through Open Data”.

5 to 8 September 2016, Liverpool

More information...

International Conference on Marine Data and Information Systems (IMDIS)

Attended by hundreds of researchers from the UK and world-wide, the conference provides a showcase of marine science and technology, covering all areas of ocean research along with early career events and education & outreach opportunities.

12 to 14 September 2016,Gdńask, Poland

More information...

INSPIRE Conference 2016

INSPIRE is about efficiently sharing digital spatial data related to the environment between public authorities at all levels of government, across borders and with the public at large. 

The INSPIRE Conference 2016  aims to show how the implementation of INSPIRE contributes to the European Interoperability Framework and the EU's digital economy in general.

26 to 30 September 2016, Barcelona

More information...

MEDIN Workshops

Free one day workshop on the use of the MEDIN Data Guidelines and MEDIN Discovery Metadata Standard.

29 September 2016, London
17 November 2016, Edinburgh
11 January 2017, Plymouth

More information...

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