Marine Institute - Plymouth University Back to Partners

The Marine Institute at Plymouth University supports a large pool of world-leading experts with extensive knowledge and expertise in the area of marine resource sustainability. Their input enables an understanding of the relationship between human activity, the marine environment and the development of sustainable policy solutions.

The Marine Institute integrates their interdisciplinary expertise in marine research, education and innovation to train new scientists, policy makers, technicians and business managers of the future.

Researchers at the Marine Institute recognise that marine habitat mapping is a critical part of moving toward the sustainable use of the marine environment. Their research contributes to the European Commission's efforts to create a digital seabed map of European waters by 2020 through developing novel techniques for mapping benthic biology and developing a EUNIS habitat classification system that adequately represents deep-sea biodiversity.

The 'Mapping the Deep' project, led by Dr. Kerry Howell, will tackle the prime causes of the destruction by bottom trawl gear of the UK's cold-water coral reefs, coral gardens and other vulnerable habitats. By looking at the different habitats in the deep-sea and the environmental conditions they are found under, the project aims to provide maps of their distribution so that appropriate protective measures, such as the creation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), can be taken.

The 'Mapping the Deep' project hopes to better predict where they might find certain species by showing that cold water coral reefs are most likely to grow at certain depths, or on rocky, sloped terrain.

For more information on the work of the Marine Institute at Plymouth University, please visit their website.