Marine Conservation

Exploitation of natural resources in the environment is resulting in increasing degradation of marine ecosystems. Sustainable development demands that biodiversity decline is addressed.

ABPmer provides a range of specialist conservation advice across the UK and overseas to industries operating in the marine environment. We also have particular skills in developing practical mitigation measures for project developments and compensation requirements under the Habitats and Birds Directives.

We are practiced in helping to secure agreements with stakeholders for the development of legally-enforceable mitigation and monitoring programmes. Such work includes selecting, designing and assessing the impacts of newly created coastal habitat as a compensation requirement. 

Key Services:

  • Advice on marine habitat management
  • Advice on conservation requirements and mitigation measures
  • Habitats regulations appraisals
  • Coastal and marine habitat creation and enhancement
  • Marine habitat and species survey and monitoring
  • Conservation research

Selected Project experience:

Draft Offshore Wind Energy Plan and Habitats Regulations Assessment - Scottish Government

The Scottish Government has prepared a Draft Plan which considers the potential of Scottish Territorial Waters to accommodate Offshore Wind Energy. ABPmer was commissioned by Marine Scotland to complete a Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA) of this Plan. Based on established guidance for undertaking Plan-level HRAs, ABPmer carried out an iterative and auditable assessment process to determine whether the Plan will have a “likely significant effect” on sites designated for their nature conservation interest at a European Level and then assessed whether the integrity of these sites will be adversely affected. Where it could not be determined that there would be no adverse effect on integrity then mitigation measures were identified for each of the impact pathways to avoid any adverse effect.

Marine Protected Areas Data Layers - Defra

ABPmer was awarded a major contract to develop digital mapping / spatial information layers to help identify Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in UK waters. The two year project, funded by DEFRA, Scottish Government, Department of Environment (Northern Ireland), Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), Natural England and Countryside Council for Wales was undertaken to ensure that the decision-making process used the best scientific data available. The project developed a number of digital information layers for UK waters providing up-to-date information on the distribution of important biological, geological and geomorphological conservation features.

Wallasea Island Wild Coast - RSPB

ABPmer was commissioned by the RSPB to provide an Environmental Impact Assessment and related planning application documents for the RSPB’s Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project, the largest wetland scheme of its type in Europe. Our work included both hydrodynamic and sediment modelling for the proposed scheme, visualisations and impact assessment. In 2009, the scheme was granted planning permission.

Image courtesy:


Steve Hull
+44 (0)2380 711849