Welcome to the Beta site. Beta means that you’re looking at the first version of the new Marine Data Exchange.
We’ll be continually testing and improving the site, so please let us know how we’re doing by getting in touch here

Data & Evidence Projects

As an island nation, the sea and seabed are essential to the UK. We hold them in trust, but we’ve taken them for granted.

We now face two crises: climate, and biodiversity. Our challenge is to maximise green energy while protecting and restoring our amazingly rich wildlife and fragile marine ecosystems. The Crown Estate has a unique role in helping to fit this jigsaw together and restore balance.

Together with our stakeholders & developers, we provide world-class data, providing the evidence to ensure that difficult decisions are properly informed, rooted in sound science, with the right insights into the trade-offs and impacts. We’re investing proactively in data and evidence – and the tools to produce the best insights.

Scroll down to take a look at some of the data and evidence projects we are currently working on.

Fisheries Evidence Project

The marine environment provides important social, cultural and economic value to all of us.

The seabed is getting busier, not only is it critical for renewable energy, protecting and enhancing the environment, but also as a source of food. The fishing sector is an important part of the UK's economy and heritage, which is why we work closely with stakeholders to ensure that the sustainable development of the seabed can drive financial, social and environmental value.

That is why we have launched our Fisheries Evidence project, which aims to improve our understanding of the spatial distribution of fishing effort in UK waters.

We are working alongside fisheries experts, UK governmental bodies and the fisheries industry, to ensure that we are using the best available data and evidence to improve our decision-making process.

Testing the compatibility of Industry Data for Natural Capital assessments and Good Environmental Status reporting

We are developing an industry data pilot study to support UK marine assessment and reporting.

As the offshore renewables sector expands, so does the spatial footprint of survey data collected by offshore industries. Industry data can inform important monitoring programmes put in place as part of UK policy, such as the UK Marine Strategy (2012) and 25 Year Environment Plan (2018), which aim to achieve good environmental status (GES) in British Seas and increase biodiversity and ecosystem health.

The Industry Data Natural Capital Pilot study therefore aims to use MDE marine industry data to understand whether industry survey data can be used to support UK marine assessment and reporting and help to address marine data evidence gaps.

BGS Geotechnical Standardisation Project

We are excited to kick-start our work with The British Geological Survey (BGS) on our Geotechnical Standardisation Project.

The Marine Data Exchange currently holds over 100 geotechnical surveys from more than 30 offshore wind projects. Whilst the geotechnical data is currently held in disparate datasets, this partnership approach will develop a method for bringing the historic datasets together into one standardised dataset where possible and will also work with industry to develop a consistent and standardised approach for the future delivery of geotechnical data.

Improving data accessibility is vital to improving our understanding of the marine environment and is key to the future of sustainable offshore development. Standardising datasets encourages the integration of data into future studies, helping to build a more informed understanding about our precious marine environment.

MDE Insights and Analysis

We are very proud of the MDE and its evolution to date. However, there is always more work to be done!

We want to enable our site users to gain maximum value from the data available on the MDE. That is why we are continuously improving the MDE and developing the site further.

Currently, the data available on the MDE can be filtered and searched for by collection dates, theme, industry, development, round and area categories of the series, and the text referenced in the summary text or title of the series page. We want to go further and enable users to search for any word or phrase referenced within the surveys uploaded to the site. This is a mammoth task, but we believe enabling this function will maximise data accessibility, allowing for the inclusion of industry data in essential environmental modelling and marine monitoring and assessments. Please bear with us on this one, it could take some time!

Photo credits

From top to bottom:

  • Swanage Pier Swarm: Paul Pettitt
  • Seagrass and sargassum in the solent: John Mitchell
  • British Geological Survey: British Geological Survey
  • Freediving freedom: Dan Bolt