A new internet portal, which will allow the public to freely access a wealth of data about the UK’s territorial waters and beyond, has been launched today in a bid to boost the “blue economy”.
Developed by The Crown Estate, the Marine Data Exchange allows
anyone with an interest in the marine environment access to over a
terabyte of data collected from The Crown Estate's low carbon
energy development partners, including: visual and landscape
assessments, bird and mammal population studies, habitat
characterisations and archaeological studies.
By allowing developers, businesses and other interested parties,
free, easy access to this data, the Marine Data Exchange will
contribute towards lowering the costs of developing in the marine
environment, enhancing the sustainability of marine businesses and
furthering our knowledge of the country's coastal areas.
Ultimately, these benefits will help everyone with a stake in
the UK's coastal and marine environment to develop a sustainable
"blue economy" and create opportunities for businesses to grow,
developers to build and conservationists to conserve. The
data also instigates an enhanced push towards transparency in the
Pete Edmonds, The Crown Estate's Marine Data Manager and head of
the Marine Data Exchange project said: "As the organisation charged
with the management of the UK's seabed, we are uniquely positioned
to encourage and collate research into the marine environment. Our
Marine Data Exchange utilises the latest technology to create an
easily accessible hub for crucial data which will save businesses
time and money and will help increase environmental sustainability.
All of this will provide a measureable boost to the blue
The Marine Data Exchange builds on the success of:
- the previous COWRIE (Collaborative Offshore Wind Research into
the Environment) data management system;
- European Commission and UK Government initiatives such as
MEDIN (the European Commission's Marine Environmental Data and
- INSPIRE (an European Commission directive establishing
infrastructure for spatial information to support European
Community environmental projects);
- and data.gov.uk (a UK government project which aims to open up
government data sets to the general public).