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  Marine Conservation Glossary + Acronyms

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AFWG: Arctic Fisheries Working Group.

AONB: Areas of Oustanding Natural Beauty.

ASOC: Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition. (website)

Abundant: (L: a/ab= towards; unda=wave; abundare=to flow over) plentiful, existing in large quantities.It is a relative measure. 'Snapper are abundant' could mean thousands of them in a vast area, whereas 'Seahorses are abundant' could mean a few dozen in a small area. We often think of abundance in terms of one species. Even though abundant, the species depends on a host of other organisms for its living. 'Snapper is no longer abundant' almost certainly means that a lot of other species have disappeared as well.

Adaptive radiation: the evolution of a group of related organisms into different types, each fitted for a different way of life. 

Agroecology: (agriculture + ecology) the study of agricultural land uses and practices in relation to their impact on soil, water and other resources. 

Annex I habitats: List of 189 habitats to be protected under the EC Habitats Directive by means of a network of sites.

Annex II species: List of 788 species to be protected under the EC Habitats directive by means of a network of sites.

Appropiate Assessment: The assessment that is required to determine the potential effect of a project or plan on an SPA or SAC (Defra, 2007).

Aquaculture: the cultivation or rearing of aquatic plants or animals. Freshwater aquaculture is very much unlike marine aquaculture. Organisms are reared in ponds (Carp, Tilapia, Trout, Shrimp, Prawn). Marine aquaculture almost always happens in the open sea (Salmon, Oyster, Mussel, Scallops). These organisms prefer clean water. The farmer prefers sheltered water. Clear sheltered water is disappearing rapidly because of poor sewage and soil management, made worse by an accelerating growth in population. Farming salmon is detrimental to the environment and inefficient: a predator is raised on organic matter obtained from grazing animals (pig pellets); what rains down needs to be broken down by the environment. Oysters can grow in murky waters, right in the shallows of an estuary. Mussels need clean water with a good plankton supply in the current. Both feed on phytoplankton, thus recycling the nutrients from our sewage effluent and farm run-off. Mussels and Oysters are not only nutricious but also rich in minerals and trace elements. 

Areas of Oustanding Natural Beauty: They are fine landscapes, of great variety in character and extent. The criteria for designation is their outstanding natural beauty. Many AONBs also fulfil a recreational role but, unlike national parks, this is not a designation criteria. The administration of planning and development control in AONBs is the responsibility of those local authorities within whose boundaries they fall. The statutory purpose of AONBs is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area (

Artificial Reef: Any man-made structure that is submerged, or partially submerged, at any stage of the tidal cycle. It may be placed by design for a multitude of purposes, eg piers, jetties, coastal defence, fishery enhancement, or by chance, eg shipwrecks (Anon, 2001).

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BOIT: British Indian Ocean Territory.

Bathyal, Bathypelagic: (Gk: bathos= depth; pelagos= sea; pelagios=of the sea) living in open water in the lightless depths between 1000 and 2500m.

Benthic= (Gk: benthos= sea depth) living on the seabottom, in it or immediately above it. 

Benthopelagic: (Gk: sea depth + of the sea) living close to the seabottom but not normally resting on it.

Benthos= those plants or animals living on the bottom of a sea or lake.

Biodiversity= (L: bios=life; diversitas= variety) the variety of living organisms in all their forms and combinations.

Biodiversity Convention: The UN Convention on Biodiversity at the UNCED �Earth Summit� in Rio de Janeiro 1992 to safeguard the total variety of animals, plants and all other living matter on Earth (Anon, 2001).

Biogeography= the scientific study of the geographic distribution of organisms. 

Biomass: the total weight of all the animals and plants living in a given area. It may relate to only one species.

Biosphere: the sumtotal of all organic life living on, in, or above Earth's surface. The part of the earth (air, water, rock) that supports life. 

Biota: all the organisms found in a specific area. The animal or plantlife of a region or period. 

Biotope: The physical habitat with its associated, distinctive biological communities. The smallest unit of a habitat that can be delineated conveniently and is characterised by the community of plants and animals living there (Anon, 2001).

Biotic: relating to life or living things.

Biotic community: the totality of plants, animals and micro-organisms in a given area of land or water, characterised by interrelationships with each other and with the physical environment. 

Breeding ground: A place where marine organisms gather to breed. Breeding grounds differ for each species: a Crayfish may just seek deeper water; Snapper congregate in special places; Scallops can breed only 'on the spot' if densities are high enough. It is wrong to assume that a marine reserve will become a breeding ground for ALL species. 

Breeding stocks: All organisms of a species that are capable of breeding. The word 'stock' is commonly used for only one species; 'stocks' for multiple species. Organisms can breed only if they have become adults, if they are healthy and well-fed, if they can pair up, if conditions are right and if there are enough of them. The bigger specimens do it better because they have much bigger gonads and they have years of previous experience. Our methods of fishing disturb the breeding activity more than we like to acknowledge: We catch 'the big ones' when they are 'abundant' and we make many 'widows' and 'widowers' that find it difficult to find new partners, just like humans do. 

Buffer zone: an adjunct to a national park or protected area, for the purpose of accommodating boundary effects due to migrations in and out, and of predation.
Bulk fishing: fishing appreciable quantities, a synonym for commercial fishing. Only abundant species can be fished in bulk. Where one attempts to bulk-fish reef fish with gill nets for instance, one soon finds that this activity is unsustainable because the reef fish population declines rapidly. Trawlers catch a large variety of species in bulk even though many of these would not sustain bulk fishing.

By-law: Legislation introduced at a local level to meet a specified need. Local authorities, Sea Fisheries Committees, ports and harbour authorities, for example, all have the power to introduce and enforce by-laws that can have a bearing on the marine environment and its resources (Defra, 2007).

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CCRF: Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.

CCAMLR: Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (website)

CDS: Catch Documentation Scheme.

CECAF: Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic.

CEFAS: Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science. (website)


CEP: Caribbean Environment Programme. (website)

CER: Closer Economic Relations.

CER: Commission for Energy Regulation.

CFP: Common Fisheries Policy.

CITES: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna. (website)

COB: Convention on Biological Diversity. (website)

cSAC: Candidate SAC.

CWP: Coordinating Working Party on Fishery Statistics.

Candidate SAC: A Natura 2000 site that has been submitted to European Commission, but has not yet had formal approval from Europe.

Carbon cycle: the circulation of carbon (C) from the atmosphere through plants and animals and back to the atmosphere.
Carbon dating: determination of the age of plant or animal substances by measurement of their content of radio-active carbon (C14), compared with non-radioactive carbon (C12). Radioactive carbon is produced in the upper atmosphere by radiation fromt he sun and it decays slowly. 

Carrying capacity: the biomass that can be sustained in a given area. 

Chemosynthetic ecosystems: including hot vents, cold seeps, mud volcanoes and sulphidic brine pools are highly fractured and diverse deep-water habitats shaped by dynamic, small- and large-scale geological processes, which vary substantially in time and space. The discovery of hydrothermal vents, cold seeps and gas hydrates in subsurface sediments and rocks showed that significant ecosystems on Earth are fuelled by reduced chemical substances (H2S, H2, Fe) and hydrocarbons (e.g. CH4). 

Climax= a more or less stable community which is in equilibrium with the existing natural environment, e.g a forest. The culminating stage in the ecological succession or evolution of a plant/animal community that has attained stability (equilibrium) and is self-perpetuating.

Closed area: Protection for managing fish stocks. An area within which fishing by one or more methods of fishing, or fishing one or more species of fish, is prohibited. Such areas may be permanently closed or be subject to closed seasons (Anon, 2001).

Closed season: A period during which fishing for a particular species, often within a specified area, is prohibited (Anon, 2001).

Coastal policy: a course of action for our coast. A coastal management plan.

Coastal waters: a vague term denoting the seas adjacent to the land mass. Our territorial sea extends 11 Km out (the reach of a cannon at the time) but the Extended Economic Zone extends 200 sea miles or about 370 Km. The sea under direct influence of sewage and run-off from the land is only 0.1-3 Km wide. This is the coastal water worst affected by humans. In this water we find all our coastal habitats and coastal fisheries and marine farming. Most of our marine bio-diversity is found here.

Coastal zone: The space in which land-based activities and terrestrial environments influence the marine environment and vice versa (Anon, 2001).

Commercial fishermen = those who fish for a living. The word is used to separate this class of fishermen from those who do it for fun, the recreational fisherman. But the notion goes deeper. In the old days when the catch could not be conserved, the fisherman caught only what he and his neighbours could eat that same day. He was not driven to fish more than that. However, now that fish can be frozen and conserved and processed, fishermen are driven by a sense of greed for direct profit. Thus catches are no longer limited in a natural way. This has resulted in the depletion of many fish stocks. But a commercial fisherman (who fishes for profit) will stop fishing when costs exceed profits, whereas a recreational fisherman won't. 

Common Fisheries Policy: Provides the framework for the management of the EC fisheries and Aquaculture sector, including all marine fisheries within 200 miles of member states baselines (Defra, 2007).

Community: A group of organisms occurring in a particular environment, presumably interacting with each other and with the environment, and identifiable by means of ecological survey from other groups (from Mills, 1969).

Conservation: (L: con= with/together; servare= to keep; to keep together) judicious use and management of nature and natural resources for the benefit of human society and for other reasons (ethical, historical, cultural, etc).

Conservation objective: One or more measurable or otherwise definable objectives required under Regulation 33 of the Conservation Regulations to ensure that a European site maintains a favourable conservation status (Anon, 2001).  

Conservationist: supporter or advocate of environmental conservation. As we become more and more aware of how important a healthy environment is for our wellbeing, environmental conservation becomes increasingly more fashionable. The reason that industrialists and businessmen are often found opposing environmental conservation is that they fear an 'unfair' increase in operational costs. Conservationists often blame industry for the damage it causes, conveniently forgetting that the goods produced are necessary for and wanted by our society, conservationists included. 

Container port: a port for container vessels. Container transport is very efficient. Loading and unloading a ship can be done in a matter of hours. Container ports need deep water and a lot of open-air storage with good access for trucks and trains. 

Continental shelf: The seabed adjacent to a continent to depths of around 200 metres, or where the continental slope drops steeply to the ocean floor. Defined in law as "the sea bed and subsoil of the submarine areas adjacent to the a depth of 200 metres"; the legal landward limit is set at the outer limit of territorial waters (q.v.) (Geneva Conference on the Law of the Sea, Convention on the Continental Shelf, 1958).  

Convergence: (L: cum/com/con=with ;vergere= to incline) 1) (of rocks): occurs when two types of rock, initially different, become similar in content through metamorphism. (of sediment): when two layers become close together through the thinning of the intervening strata; 2) (in evolution): when two groups of living things come to look alike because they have adapted to the same mode of life, not because they are related (e.g. sharks and dolphins). 

Corridor: (It; correre= to run; ) a more or less continuous conection between adjacent and similar habitats, such as roads, hedgerows, streams, irrigation ditches and so on.

Critically endangered: IUCN Red List categories - a taxon is Critically endangered when it is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources 1994) (cf. 'Extinct', 'Endangered', 'Vulnerable').

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Defra: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

dSAC: Draft SAC

DSCC: The Deep Sea Conservation Coalition. (website

Deep water fauna: the animals living in deep water. The term 'deep' is often used for as little as 20m depth, or more precisely, where brown and green algae can no longer live through lack of light. Here the rocks are covered with animals that filter the water for food (filter feeders). Some catch plant plankton (sponges, seasquirts, bivalves) whereas others catch animal plankton (anemones, soft corals, bryozoa). Another important group feeds on detritus (dead organisms) that rains down from above (seastars, seacucumbers, worms). The predators and scavengers complete the list (seastars, several fish species).

Demersal: (L: de=down; mergere= to plunge/dip) living near but not upon the seabottom of the continental shelf. Large demersal fishes are often fished commercially.
Demography: (Gk: demos= the people; graphia= writing) the study of birth and death rates and their consequences on the density or abundance of a population. The study of the statistics of birth and death.

Directive: EU legislation that is binding but leaves individual member states to decide how it should meet its obligations (Anon, 2001).

Disposal: the act of getting rid of. This word is used to 'place in order' things we don't want, such as sewage, refuse, poisons. Ironically, all things we want to dispose of, are or have been at one stage, expensive resources. During production processes and the act of living, these expensive resources have somehow become too diluted or too scattered or they occur in the wrong form to be 'economically useful' or 'recyclable'. 

Disturbance: "A chemical or physical process caused by humans that may or may not lead to a response in a biological system within an organism or at the level of whole organisms or assemblages. Disturbance includes stresses". (from Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection - GESAMP, 1995).

Diversity: (L: diversitas) variety, number of species, functions, habitats, etc. It is an important measure of the health of a community. As more and more pressure is exerted on a community, an increasing number of species disappears. The community becomes less diverse and its functioning is affected. The place of the losers is taken by those who remain, and who then may become more numerous. So abundance of numbers as opposed to diversity of species is not necessarily a measure of good health. 

= an ecological measure of the intrinsic number of species within a community. 
  beta diversity= an ecological measure of the turnover of species along an environmental gradient. 
  gamma diversity= an ecological measure of the species turnover rate with distance between sites of similar habitat. The rate at which additional species are encountered as geographic replacements within a habitat type in different localities. 

Draft SAC: A Natura 2000 site that has been formally recommended to a devolved authority by JNCC. A site remains a dSAC until it has had Cabinet Committee approval to go out to formal public consultation.

Dredge: 1) The action of removing material from the seabed. 2) Bottom sampling equipment towed along the seabed for collecting benthic sediment and organisms. Dredges are also used for the commercial collection of benthic organisms, e.g. scallops, or of sediment and may be a suction or hydraulic device. Cf. 'grab'; 'trawl'.

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EA: Ecosystem Approach.

EAF: Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries.

EBSA: European Biosafety Association. (website)

EC: European Commission.

EDF: Environmental Defense Fund. (website)

EEA: European Elasmobranch Association. (website)

EEZ: Exclusive Economic Zone.

EMS: European Marine Site.

ERC: Energy Regulatory Commission.

EU: European Union. (website)

Ecology: (Gk: oikos=house, logos=word, reason) the branch of science dealing with the relationships of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings. The study of the relationships of animals and plants to their animate and inanimate surroundings. 2) the study of the interaction of people with the environment. 

Ecologically significant habitat: Habitat of importance for the wider ecological processes, functions and species it supports (Anon, 2001).

Ecologically significant species: A species that has a controlling influence on a community (Anon, 2001).

Ecologically significant species: A species that has a controlling influence on a community (Anon, 2001).

Economic activity: activity for profit or for a living. Economic activity relating to the sea has very many aspects: freight, transport, ferrying, charter boating, boat repair, fishing, marine farming, living, building, sightseeing, ecotourism, diving and so on.

Economy: (Gk: oikos=house; nemo=manage; -nomia=distribution) 1) the wealth and resources of a community in relation to production and consumption. 2) the careful management of resources.

Ecosystem: (Gk: oikos= house; syn= with, together, alike; histemi=to set up; organisation, structure) a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment. The biological community consists not only of producers (grazers), predators and scavengers but also of cleaners and decomposers such as bacteria and fungi. Every ecosystem has closed loops (chains or webs) for nutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Calcium, Potassium, Sodium, etc), matter or energy (Carbon, Oxygen) and trace elements (Sulphur, Iron, Cobalt etc.). If an ecosystem is not self-sustaining, it is called an 'open' ecosystem, which derives some of the necessary components from elsewhere.

Ecosystem approach: The pursuit of a simultaneous understanding of the dynamics of all the populations in an ecosystem and their interactions with each other and their environment (Anon, 2001).

Ecosystem goods and services: Indirect or direct benefits to human society that derive from the marine ecosystem. Examples would include food provision, nutrient cycling, gas and climate regulation (Defra, 2007).

Ecosystem management: A framework for maintaining the equilibrium between all the component parts of an ecosystem rather than focusing on individual parts of the ecosystem (Anon, 2001).

Edge effect: processes that characterise habitat fragmentation and the resulting creation of habitat edges.

Endangered (species): used for species that are in danger of extinction and whose survival is unlikely if the causal factors continue to exist. Included are species whose numbers have been reduced to a critical level or whose habitats have been so drastically reduced that they are deemed to be in immediate danger of extinction. Small populations may cause breeding to collapse due to the lack of genetic diversity.

Environment: (Fr: environ= encircled, surround; en=in + viron=circuit) conditions or circumstances of living. All the conditions which surround and affect an organism.

Environmental Impact Assessment / Environmental Assessment: A process of predicting and evaluating an action's impacts on the environment, from which the conclusions are used as a tool in decision-making. It aims to minimize environmental degradation by giving decision-makers better information about the consequences which development actions could have on the environment, although it cannot, in itself, achieve that protection (based on Pritchard, 1993). An Environmental Assessment can be used to produce an Environmental Statement (ES). Cf. 'Environmental Statement' 'Strategic Environmental Assessment'.

Environmental sustainability: The control of current and future activities to prevent irreversible or other significant, long-term change to the environment or its dependent living resources (Anon, 2001).

Euphotic zone: (Gk: eu= well, easily ; photos= light; well-lit) the area in the sea closest to the surface, receiving enough light for photosynthesis (0-80m, depending on water clarity).
Eutrophic: (Gk: eu= well; trephos= to feed; overfed) a term describing water, well supplied with nutrients and too highly productive of organic matter. Eutrophication may be a problem when water becomes so rich that plant organisms cause problems to other organisms. It often results in an ecosystem 'flip', changing the living community in a drastic way to one that is much less varied.
Eutrophication= the process of nutrient enrichment of an aquatic ecosystem leading to increased biologic production. As eutrophication proceeds, there are a number of consequences, including excess production, increased decay, reduced oxygen, and decreased biodiversity.   

Exclusive Economic Zone: In international maritime law, an Exclusive Economic Zone is a sea zone extending from a state�s baselines over which the state has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources. Generally, a state�s Exclusive Economic Zone extends 200 nautical miles (370.4 kilometres) out from the baselines, except where resulting points would be closer to another country (Defra, 2007).

Exotic species: nonnative species that have established viable populations within a community, where they were previously absent.

Extent: In conservation assessment - in identifying sites for protection, preference will be given to sites with larger examples of highly rated or rarer biotopes. It is also necessary to consider the size of site required to ensure that the unit to be managed is 'viable'.  

Extinct: (L: ex=out of; stinguere= to quench; extinguere=squeeze out) used for species which are no longer known to exist in the wild after repeated searches of the type localities and other known likely places. The species may still exist in captivity or cultivation. 


FAD: Fish Aggregating (or aggregation) Device.

FAO: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.


Feeding grounds: the places where an animal feeds. Usually an animal lives on its feeding ground, thus saving energy while feeding. Some reef fishes may live and sleep on or about the reef, only to forage far afield. Little is known about feeding habits, let alone feeding grounds. But we do know that a host of species and conditions must be maintained to provide for food.

Firth: In Scotland - a lengthy estuary or arm of the sea (from Stiegeler, 1976).

Fish Aggregating (or aggregationDevice (FAD) is a man-made object used to attract ocean going pelagic fish such as marlin, tuna and mahi-mahi (dolphin fish). They usually consist of buoys or floats tethered to the ocean floor with concrete blocks. Over 300 species of fish gather around FADs. FAD's attract fish for numerous reasons that vary by species. Fish tend to move around FADs in varying orbits, rather than remaining stationary below the buoys. Both recreational and commercial fisheries use FADs.

Before FADs, commercial tuna fishing used purse seining to target surface-visible aggregations of birds and dolphins, which were a reliable signal of the presence of tuna schools below. The demand for dolphin-safe tuna was a driving force for FADs

Fishery Fleet: The term "fishery fleet" or "fishery vessels" refers to mobile floating objects of any kind and size, operating in freshwater, brackishwater and marine waters which are used for catching, harvesting, searching, transporting, landing, preserving and/or processing fish, shellfish and other aquatic organisms, residues and plants.

Fisheries interest: a vague term denoting either those who are interested in fishing or the kind of interest arising from fishing. Thus in order to manage fisheries, one needs to be interested in where the fish are, how many there are and so on. 

Fishery No Take Zone: Area of the sea closed to some or all types of fishing activity on a permanent or temporal basis (Defra, 2007).

Fisheries policy: a course of action for fishing. A policy is a general plan whereas a management plan spells out the detail. So a fisheries policy would be to maintain stocks for sustainability, whereas the management plan which spells out quotas, could unknowingly be in direct conflict with it. In order to manage our fisheries, MAF has the following options: restrictions by area, seasonal restrictions, exclusion zones (marine reserves), net specifications, mesh sizes, minimum fish size or age. 

Fishing Effort: The amount of fishing gear of a specific type used on the fishing grounds over a given unit of time e.g. hours trawled per day, number of hooks set per day or number of hauls of a beach seine per day. When two or more kinds of gear are used, the respective efforts must be adjusted to some standard type before being added.or:The total fishing gear in use for a specified period of time. When two or more kinds of gear are used, they must be adjusted to some standard type. Sometimes referred to as Effective fishing effort.

Fishing pressure: the pressure on our fishing stocks caused by the demand (the market), greed, economy of scale, employment (we have to make a living).

FISHSTAT: The FISHSTAT reporting system of questionnaires is used by FAO and adopted by Eurostat to collate global statistics covering every phase of the fishery structure.

Food chain/ Food web: the chain of organisms in any natural community, through which energy is transferred. Each link in the food chain feeds on and thus obtains energy from the one preceding it, and is then itself eaten, providing energy for the next organism in the chain. The beginning of the chain is plant matter (plant - grazer - carnivore - superpredator - detritus - nutrients - plant). Most food chains are more complicated than this simple model and now the term food web is prefered. The food webs in the sea have many tiers because the plants in the phytoplankton are so small. 

Foreshore: The part of the intertidal zone that lies between normal high- and low-water marks (from Allaby & Allaby, 1990). In English law, the landward limit has been defined as the line of medium high tides between the springs and the neaps, while the seaward limit is assumed to be the low-water line of ordinary tides (from Dowrick, 1977).

Fundamental processes: essential, natural series of steps. Science is involved in understanding the natural processes. Starting from the fundamental ones, it builds further upon these to understand less fundamental ones. However, in the sea, science has missed a few steps. The sea is very inaccessible and experiments cannot be controlled. Hence our understanding of even fundamental processes in the sea is incomplete. For instance we don't know how the main nutritional cycles work. We can't put a finger on the most important creatures of all, the sub-microscopic plankton. And all else depends on these! Of most creatures in the sea we don't know what they eat, what eats them or even how old they grow.   

Full-time fishers: receive at least 90% of their livelihood from fishing or spend at least 90% of their working time in that occupation.


GESAMP: Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection.

GOBI: Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative. (website)

GPA: Group Processing Approach.

GPA -marine: Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities. (UNEP website)

GRT: Gross Registered Tonnage.

GT: Gross Tonnage.

Game fishing: sportfishing for big fish. It is done for the fight and the adrenalin and the honour obtained. For sharks, a boat trawls a burley bait (mashed bait in a leaking bag) through the water. When a shark arrives, the real bait is thrown in. Depending on the species of shark, there'll be a small or a big fight. Marlin fights harder but is not attracted by burley. Several lures are trolled behind the boat. The Marlin can strike any of these.

Grab: A mechanical bottom-sampling device which is lowered vertically from a stationary ship, for collection of sublittoral sediment and infauna (hand-grabs can also be used) (based on Holme & McIntyre, 1984).

Grazer: a herbivore that eats whole plants and mainly one or a few species. See also browser

Grazing capacity: the optimum number of animals that can be supported on a particular pasture or range. See also carrying capacity

Grazing succession: a sequence of grazing by different species, each of which tending to make the habitat suitable for the next. 

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HAP: Habitat Action Plan. (UK website)

HPMR: Highly Protected Marine Reserve.

HSMPA: High Seas Marine Protected Area.

Habitat: the natural home of an organism. It is the typical place (and community) where an organism lives. What makes one habitat different from another are usually physical factors such as temperature, salinity, clarity, wave action, currents, amount of light, quality of the light, substrate, topography and less important ones. Once a community establishes itself, it often changes its surroundings, just like humans do.

Habitat Action Plan: These plans form part of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) to protect UK species and habitats (Anon, 2001).

Habitats Directive: The abbreviated term for Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora (Commission of the European Communities 1992). Known until about autumn 1994 informally as the "Habitats and Species Directive".

Highly Protected Marine Reserve: Areas set aside from all damaging and potentially damaging uses to enable the recovery of ecosystem structure and function.

Hope Spots: are places in the ocean that merit special protection because of their unique wildlife and habitats. Since they are places where human activities and impacts will be minimized, the unique and vital ecosystems within the Hope Spots will have a chance to recover and to flourish.

Hydraulic dredge: Bottom sampling equipment for collecting benthic sediment and organisms, towed along the seabed using pumped water to draw material up a tube. Such dredges are also used for the commercial collection of benthic organisms, e.g. cockles.

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IBA: Important Bird Areas.

ICCAT: The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas. (website)

ICES: The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. (website)

ICZM: Integrated Coastal Zone Management.

IEG: Irish Elasmobranch Group.

IMarEST: The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology. (website)

IMMS: The International Marine Minerals Society. (website

IMO: International Maritime Organization. (website)

IPA: Integrated Preferred Alternative.

IPSO: The International Programme on the State of the Ocean. (website)

ISA: International Seabed Authority. (website)

ISO: International Organization for Standardization. (website)

ISSCAAP: International Standard Statistical Classification of Aquatic Animals and Plants.

ISSCFC: International Standard Statistical Classification of Fishery Commodities.

ISSCFG: The International Standard Statistical Classification of Fishing Gear.

ISSCFV: International Standard Statistical Classification of Fishing Vessels.

IUCN: International Union for Conservation of Nature. (website)

IUU: Illegal Unregulated and Unreported fishing.

IWA: International Whaling Commission. (website)

Importance: In the context of marine natural heritage: species or biotopes which are rare or very restricted in their distribution; species or biotopes that are in decline or have been; species or biotopes where a country has a high proportion of the regional or world population or extent; species that are keystone in a biotope by providing a habitat for other species; biotopes with a particularly high species richness; locations or biotopes that are particularly good or extensive representatives of their type. Species will also be 'important' if they are listed for protection on statutes, directives and conventions.

Infauna: Benthic animals which live within the seabed.

Integrated Coastal Zone Management: The co-ordination of all activities, regulatory and management functions to safeguard all natural resources and processes found in and affecting the coastal zone (Anon, 2001).

Interest Feature: Defined in the JNCC common standards framework as "A habitat, habitat matrix, geomorphological or geological exposure, a species or species community or assemblage which is the reason for notification of the site under the appropriate selection guidelines or, in the case of Natura 2000 and Ramsar areas, the features for which the site will be designated". The interest features of an SAC are the habitat types and species listed in Annexes I and II of the Habitats Directive, for which the site is selected.

International Importance: 1) in biotopes or areas (conservation assessment) -biotopes or areas which are highly rated in a coastal sector (q.v.) are considered of international importance if they are one of the best examples or only examples present in the north-east Atlantic (North Cape, Norway to Gibraltar). This was, until 1995, defined for communities as being: "Communities which are outstandingly good examples of their type in the north-east Atlantic. Communities recorded at only a very few locations in the north-east Atlantic" (Hiscock & Mitchell 1989). Cf. 'international importance: species', 'local importance', 'national importance', 'regional importance' (biotopes or areas and species). 2) In species (conservation assessment) -species which are recorded at only a very few locations in the north-eastern Atlantic. Species recorded in higher abundance in the area under consideration than anywhere else in the north-eastern Atlantic, or where the area is one of only a few locations where large quantities are recorded (Davies et al., 1990, based on Hiscock & Mitchell, 1989). Cf. 'international importance: biotopes or areas', 'local importance', 'national importance', 'regional importance' (biotopes or areas and species).

Island biogeography: the theory developed by R H MacArthur and E O Wilson in 1967, which proposes that the number of species inhabiting an island is a function of island area and distance from the mainland, and is determined by the relationship between the rates of species immigration and extinction. 

Isolate: (L: insula= island) to keep apart, to exclude. An isolated island like the Kermadec's Raoul Island, was a hard place to live. It was hard to get to in the first place, then to land on it, let alone to do any trade with.Thus it was spared somewhat.

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JNCC: Joint Nature Conservation Committee. (website)

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Keystone species: A species which, through its predatory activities (for instance, grazing by sea urchins) or by mediating competition between prey species (for instance, by eating sea urchins), maintains community composition and structure. Removal of a keystone species leads to rapid, cascading changes in the structure they support (based on Raffaelli & Hawkins, 1996). The term is also applied here to species which provide a distinctive habitat (for instance a bed of the horse mussel Modiolus modiolus, or kelp plants Laminaria hyperborea) and whose loss would therefore lead to the disappearance of the associated community.

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LOSC: Law of the Sea Convention.

Landed Weight: The concept "LANDED WEIGHT" refers to the mass (or weight) of a product at the time of landing, regardless of the state in which is landed. That is, the fish may be whole, or gutted or filleted. Consequently this unit is of limited use for further analysis except where it is known that the product is very homogenous in nature. Where more detailed analysis of the data is required the landed weight is generally converted to a more meaningful measure, the most frequently used being the "Nominal catch".

Local importance: In conservation assessment - biotopes or locations which are among the best examples or the only examples within a particular physiographic feature or area of coast but occur widely elsewhere in the coastal sector (q.v.). This was, until 1995, defined as being: "communities or areas which are widespread in similar situations but for which the one mentioned is a good example in the coastal sector under consideration". (Based on Hiscock & Mitchell, 1989.) Cf. 'international importance: species', 'national importance', 'regional importance' (biotopes or areas and species).

Logbooks: Logbooks are widely used as a method of collecting statistical information on commercial activities. They provide a mean of recording data at the source.

Longliners: fishermen using longlines. A longline is a long fishing line (100-1000m) baited with many hooks. It is laid down above the bottom from one weighted buoy with a flag on top, to another. Several small weights and floats may be used to keep the longline near the bottom. Fish caught by longline are of high quality. They have not been crushed in a net. They arive on board in good condition and are rapidly killed by spiking the brain in the Japanese 'ike' way, then they are rapidly cooled in brine (ice and salt). 

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MCA: Marine Consultation Area.

MCS: Monitoring, control and surveillance.

MCSI: Marine Conservation Science Institute> (website)

MCZs: Marine Conservation Zones.

MNR: Marine Nature Reserve.

MPA :  Marine Protected Area.

MRIA: Marine Renewable Industries Association.

Maintaining diversity: maintaining variety. Since each species lives in its own habitat, maintaining diversity also involves maintaining diversity of habitat. 

Management Scheme: A plan, prepared by the relevant authorities, that sets the framework within which activities will be managed to achieve the conservation objectives of a European marine site (Defra, 2007).

Marina: specially designed harbour with moorings for pleasure craft. Many people have boats and these need moorings. In marinas they are moored such that they take up the least amount of space. Marinas are built in sheltered places, always near where people live. Marinas represent a non-destructive use of the water but they have to be built first. Fortunately the disturbed underwater communities recover quickly. Even so, marinas evoke heavy opposition from locals.

Marine Conservation Zones / MPA : Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) are a new type of Marine Protected Area (MPA) brought in under the UK Marine Act. Marine Conservation Zones will form a key part of the UK MPA network.

Marine Conservation Zones afforded a high level of protection: Welsh inshore marine sites in which all damaging and disturbing activities will be excluded. They will be recommended to the Welsh Assembly Government by the Countryside Council for Wales in 2012.

Marine Consultation Area: A non-statutory nature conservation designation for Scotland. It identifies areas of nature conservation interest for which widespread consultation is desirable before any development takes place (Anon, 2001).

Marine farms: the cropping or rearing of marine organisms. (Oysters, Mussels, Salmon and recently also Paua). Each species has its own preferred method of farming.

Marine industries: industries involved with the sea, ranging from boat building to fisheries. 

Marine inlet: As defined for the Habitats Directive, 'large shallow inlets and bays' are: "Large indentations of the coast where, in contrast to estuaries, the influence of freshwater is generally limited. These shallow indentations are generally sheltered from wave action and contain a great diversity of sediments and substrates with a well developed zonation of benthic communities" (European Commission 1995). 'Shallow' may be defined by the depth limit of the photic zone in open coastal waters adjoining the inlet or bay. In the UK this is interpreted for the Habitats Directive as a depth of 30 m below chart datum or shallower across at least 75% of the site."

Marine laboratory: a building fitted out for experiments relating to the sea. A marine laboratory must have a circulating saltwater system. Salt water is pumped from the sea and circulated through experimental and holding tanks. A gravity-feeding salt water storage is kept in case of pump or power failure. A marine laboratory also has access to an area in the sea that is protected for the sake of conducting marine experiments in the sea. It also has one or more boats and an array of diving equipment. 

Marine Nature Reserve: an area of sea and seabed (which can include intertidal areas) designated under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) for the purpose of conserving marine flora and fauna or geological or physiographic features of special interest and/or providing opportunities for study and research. The designation can be applied throughout UK territorial waters; sites designated already are Lundy MNR (England), Skomer MNR (Wales), Strangford Lough MNR (Northen Ireland) (Anon, 2001).

Maritime: connected with the sea or seafaring.
Market: a demand for a commodity or service. A market-driven economy (as NZ has become in recent years) is driven by the demand for its products or services. The demand is in turn created and increased by 'marketing', and advertising. The overriding profit motive is insensitive to conservation. 

Maxent: software for species habitat modeling based on the maximum-entropy approach for species habitat modeling.  This software takes as input a set of layers or environmental variables (such as elevation, precipitation, etc.), as well as a set of georeferenced occurrence locations, and produces a model of the range of the given species.

Migration: (L: migrare= to move/travel) moving actively from one place to another by crawling, swimming, flying. The extent of the ocean horizontally is vast, and places which differ in temperature, are located far apart. Horizontal migrations (transoceanic migrations) are done most successfully by large organisms (enjoying economics of scale), which also have sufficient reserves to survive long periods of famine. Many organisms in the sea migrate vertically from the dark aphotic zone lacking food to the sunlit zone where food abounds. Such migrations take only 100-800m each day. 

Monitoring, control and surveillance: in the context of fisheries, is defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations as a broadening of traditional enforcing national rules over fishing, to the support of the broader problem of fisheries management.

Internationally, the basis of law for fisheries management comes from the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Further definition was in the Declaration of Cancun. This is complemented by the work of a variety of regional organizations that cover high seas fishing areas. A key concept in international fishing laws is that of the Exclusive Economic Zone, which extends 200 miles (370 km) from the coast of nations bordering on the oceans. EEZ is not a meaningful concept in relatively small seas such as the Mediterranean and Baltic, so those areas tend to have regional agreements for MCS of international waters within those seas.

Monoculture: the intensive or protracted culture of a single species of plant or animal. 

Mudflat: An expanse of mud or muddy sediment in the intertidal zone. The 1991 CORINE biotopes manual (Commission of the European Communities, 1991) defines 'Mud flats and sand flats' as "Sands and muds, submerged for part of the tide, devoid of vascular plants, but usually coated by blue algae and diatoms." The EC Habitats Directive 'mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide' uses the same definition (European Commission, 1995).

Mutualism: (L: mutare= to change/revert; reciprocal) a symbiontic relationship between different organisms in which both partners benefit.

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NAFO: Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization. (website)

NASCO: North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization.

NTZ: No Take Zone.

NUTFA: New Under Ten Fishermen's Association.

Native: a local inhabitant, born there. Not necessarily synonymous with endemic (e.g. Cabbage Trees and Pukeko are also found in Australia). 

National Importance: 1) biotopes and areas (conservation assessment) - Biotopes or areas which are highly rated in the coastal sector will be described as of national importance if they are one of the best examples or only examples known in Great Britain. National importance can apply to biotopes which are, or are likely to be, widely occurring in other similar physiographic situations in the north-eastern Atlantic. 2) species (conservation assessment) - considered to be those benthic species which are nationally rare or nationally scarce. A species may also be nationally important where a high proportion of the world population occurs in Britain, even though the species might be widespread in Britain. A nationally important species could be one whose numbers are declining rapidly.

Natura 2000: The EU-wide network of protected sites established under the Birds Directive (SPA) and the Habitats Directive (SAC) (Anon, 2001).

Natural population level: the population level attained in a natural way. Central to this concept is the notion that there exists such a thing as 'a population level'. Indeed in complex communities of many species, population levels remain somewhat constant. But in disturbed communities (such as exploited ones), population levels can oscillate quite profoundly. 

Natural process: natural course, as opposed to human-made or human-induced series of changes. 

Natural refuge: a natural shelter from pursuit or danger. It could be said that the sea has no more natural refuges. Where could one hide from exploitation? Isn't the sea accessible and fishable and exploited everywhere? Hence the need for marine reserves. 

Nature conservation: The regulation of human use of the global ecosystem to sustain its diversity of content indefinitely (Nature Conservancy Council, 1984).

Neoclassical economics: (Gk/L: neos=new; classis= assembly) the dominant school of economic thought, is founded on the idea of economic man: individual producers and consumers who behave predictably because they make calculated decisions according to their consciously developed “objective function” to maximize profits or utility, respectively.

Niche: (French: cove, cell, cubby-hole), an ecological term for the role an organism plays in a community and environment, including the habitat it occupies and the food it eats. Niche organisms are not the mainstream organisms making up the bulk of the food web, but their existence is incidental although they may depend on some mainstream organisms. Nich organisms add considerably to biodiversity. 

Non-destructive use: having one's cake by not eating it. Examples of non-destructive use are: education and eco-tourism. Is sustainable use destructive use? 

Non-target species: species that were not targeted in the fisheries. By-catches. While fishing for Orange Roughy, with a quota for this 'target' species, also other species are found in the nets. Since non-target species are also caught in the process of fishing for others, we cannot get a clear idea of their natural population levels. 

No-take: non-extractive. To leave things alone and not even disturb them.   

No Take Zone: A marine protected area (MPA) from which the removal of any resources, living or dead is prohibited (Anon, 2001).

Nominal Catches: The concept "NOMINAL CATCHES" refers to the landings converted to a live weight basis. In fact it is often referred to as the "Live weight equivalent of the landings" or shortened to the "Live weight". In national publications the same concept is also given the name "Landings on a round, fresh basis", "Landings on a round, whole basis" or "Landings on an ex-water basis".

Non-governmental organisation: An organization that is not part of the local or state or federal government.

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OMP: Office of Marine Programs. (website)

OSPAR: A combination (1992) of two earlier conventions (Oslo and Paris) to create the convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Northeast Atlantic. Annex V addresses the protection and conservation of ecosystems and biological diversity (Anon, 2001). (website)

Observation: the act of noticing. Scientists need to be able to make observations that are not disturbed by the actions of others.

Occasional fishers: receive under 30% of their livelihood from fishing, or spend under 30% of their working time in that occupation.
Oceanic (province): the area of the oceans outside the continental shelf.

Offshore: synonymous to 'away from the mainland'. The further offshore a place is, the harder it is to get there to exploit it.

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PSSA: Particularly Sensitive Sea Area.

pSAC: possible SAC.

Part-time fishers: receive at least 30% but less than 90% of their livelihood from fishing or spend at least 30% but less than 90% of their working time in that occupation.

Particularly Sensitive Sea Area: An area that needs special protection through action by IMO because of its significance for recognised ecological or socio-economic or scientific reasons and which may be vulnerable to environmental damage by maritime traffic (IMO, 1991).

Pelagic zone: The open sea and ocean, excluding the sea bottom. Pelagic organisms inhabit such open waters.

Policy: a course or principle of action (course, rule, plan, scheme). 

Pollution: (L: polluere= to defile, contaminate) the contamination of a natural ecosystem by wastes from human activities. The contaminants may be nutrients, that initially stimulate growth of primary producers, or they may be chronic toxins. 

Possible SAC: A Natura 2000 site that has had Cabinet Committee approval to go to consultation. A site remains a pSAC until it is submitted to the European Commission.

Potting: The setting of traps (pots) on the seabed to fish for lobsters, crabs, etc.

Precautionary Principle: Where there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost effective measures to prevent environmental degradation (as defined in the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development) (Defra, 2007).

Priority habitats: Are natural habitats in danger of disappearance for which the EU has particular responsibility for their conservation in view of the proportion of their natural range that falls within the member states� territory (Habitats Directive) (Anon, 2001).

Product Weight: The concept "PRODUCT WEIGHT" suffers from similar disadvantages being simply the weight of a product at the time of weighing. Thus it does not describe the presentation of the product and, unless it is known that the product is homogenous in form, further analysis has to proceed with caution.

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RFMOs: Regional Fishery Management Organizations.

Ramsar Convention: International Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar, Iran 1971). Coastal waters of particular importance can be designated as Ramsar sites but they do not normally exceed 6 m in depth. During the 1990s the convention was amended to broaden its application to embrace among others, the needs of fish with an associated move towards closer involvement with fishery management (Anon, 2001).

Rarity (species): "The current status of an organism which, by any combination of biological or physical factors, is restricted either in numbers or area to a level that is demonstrably less than the majority of other organisms of comparable taxonomic entities" (Gaston, 1994).

Recoverability: The ability of a habitat, community or individual (or individual colony) of species to redress damage sustained as a result of an external factor.

Red Data Book Species: A species listed in catalogues published by the IUCN or by national agencies, listing species which are rare, endangered or vulnerable to extinction globally or nationally.

Red list species: A species identified as 'Extinct', 'Extinct in the wild', 'Critically endangered', 'Endangered', 'Vulnerable', 'Lower risk', 'Data deficient' or 'Not evaluated' according to criteria laid down in the IUCN Red List Categories (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, 1994).

Regional Importance: 1) Species conservation - species which are unrecorded or recorded at only a few locations in similar physiographic situations in other parts of Britain. Species recorded in higher abundance in the site under consideration than in any other part of the region. Species which are at the geographical limits of their distribution might be included in this category. (Davies et al., 1990, based on Hiscock & Mitchell, 1989). Cf. 'regional importance: biotopes or areas' 'international importance', 'local importance', 'national importance' (biotopes or areas and species). 2) biotope and area conservation - Biotopes or areas which are widespread in similar situations but for which this is a good example in the coastal sector (q.v.) under consideration. Regional importance was, until 1995, defined for communities as being "Communities which are present in similar physiographic situations in Britain but which are outstandingly good examples of their type in the location under consideration, or are as good as examples of similar communities present elsewhere in Britain. Communities recorded at only a few locations in the same biogeographic region." (Davies et al., 1990, based on Hiscock & Mitchell, 1989). (Cf. 'regional importance: species', 'international importance', 'local importance', 'national importance' (biotopes or areas and species)).

Regulation (EU): Legislation that has immediate, equal and binding effect throughout all member states. The method of implementing the legislation is not left to each member state to decide, as with Directives, but is specified in the Regulation. Any state that does not implement a Regulation can be reported to the Court of Justice, most probably by the Commission (EC), and fined (Anon, 2001).

Regulation 33: Paragraph in the UK Conservation Regulations that requires nature conservation bodies to advise relevant authorities as to the conservation objectives for a European marine site and notify them of any operations that may cause a deterioration to the habitat or disturbance of species for which the site has been selected (Anon, 2001).

Regulation 34: Paragraph in the UK Conservation Regulations that allows the relevant authority to establish a (single) management scheme for the protection of each European marine site (Anon, 2001).

Relevant authority: A body that has functions in relation to land or waters within or adjacent to a marine area or European marine site (Defra, 2007).

Renewable energy: Any naturally occurring, theoretically inexhaustible source of energy, as biomass, solar, wind, tidal, wave, and hydroelectric power, that is not derived from fossil or nuclear fuel.

Representativeness: In conservation assessment -typical of a feature, habitat or assemblage of species. Representative examples are identified from the range of natural or semi-natural habitats and associated communities (biotopes) within a biogeographically distinct area or the boundaries of a national territory.

Resilience: The ability of an ecosystem to return to its original state after being disturbed (from Makins, 1991).

Resistance: The degree to which a variable is changed following perturbation (Pimm, 1984). The tendency to withstand being perturbed from the equilibrium (Connell & Sousa, 1983).

Richness (species): The number of species in a community, habitat or sample.

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SAC: Special Area of Conservation.

SAGB: Shellfish Association of Great Britain.

SAP: species action plans

SCI: Site of Community Importance.

SCRS: Standing Committee on Research and Statistics.

SITC: Standard International Trade Classification of the UN.

SSSI: Site of Special Scientific Interest.

SPA: Special Protection Area.

SPOT: Smart Position or Temperature Transmitting Tags

Sea Fisheries Committee: Sea Fisheries Committee is a local fishery committee constituted under Section 2 of the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act 1966 for the purpose of regulating fishing for sea fish (except for salmon and migratory trout) out to 6nm (Defra, 2007).

Sensitivity: (conservation assessment) An assessment of the intolerance of a species or habitat to damage from an external factor and the time taken for its subsequent recovery. For example, a very sensitive species or habitat is one that is very adversely affected by an external factor arising from human activities or natural events (killed/destroyed, 'high' intolerance) and is expected to recover over a very long period of time, i.e. >10 or up to 25 years ('low'; recoverability). Intolerance and hence sensitivity must be assessed relative to change in a specific factor.

Site of Community Importance: Is a site which, in the biogeographic region to which it belongs, contributes significantly to the maintenance or restoration at a favourable conservation status of a habitat or species scheduled in the EU Habitats (and Species) Directive (Anon, 2001).

Site of Special Scientific Interest: An area of land or water notified by the Nature Conservancy Council or its successor agencies under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as being of special nature (can include geological) conservation importance.

Spatial management tool : Spatial data management tool utilities a technique for organizing and retrieving information by positioning it in a graphical data space (GDS). This graphical data space is viewed through a color raster-scan display which enables users to traverse the GDS surface or zoom into the image to obtain greater detail. In contrast to conventional database management systems, in which users access data by asking questions in a formal query language, a spatial data management system (SDMS) presents the information graphically in a form that seems to encourage browsing and to require less prior knowledge of the contents and organization of the database. This paper presents an overview of the SDMS concept and describes its implementation in a prototype system for retrieving information from both a symbolic database management system and an optical videodisk.

Special Area of Conservation: A site designation specified in the Habitats Directive. Each site is designated for one or mores of the habitats and species listed in the Directive. The Directive requires a management plan to be prepared and implemented for each SAC to ensure the favourable conservation status of the habitats or species for which it was designated. In combination with special protection areas (SPA), these sites contribute to the Natura 2000 network (Anon, 2001).

Special Protection Are: A site of European Community importance designated under the Wild Birds Directive (Commission of the European Communities Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the Conservation of Wild Birds).

Smart Position or Temperature Transmitting Tags : SPOT tags are secured to a fish’s fin with plastic bolts. The tag sends a signal to a satellite each time the wet / dry sensor on the tag senses that the fish’s fin is at the surface and out of the water. The satellite can then locate the precise location of the tag (within approximately 350 meters) and send the data via e-mail to the researcher. 

Spatial bias: is an asymmetry of perception and/or representation of spatial information – “where” bias –, or of spatially directed actions – “aiming” bias. A monocular patch may induce contralateral “where” spatial bias (the Sprague effect [Sprague, J. M. (1966). Interaction of cortex and superior colliculus in mediation of visually guided behavior in cat. Science, 153(3743), 1544–1547]).

Stability: The ability of an ecosystem to resist change (from Makins, 1991).

STATLANT: The STATLANT reporting system of questionnaires is a long-standing standardized statistical inquiry developed by the CWP for the submission of national catch data to international fisheries agencies by national reporting offices. Although the species and fishing areas for which data are requested vary from region to region, the questionnaires are of a standardized format and employ harmonized concepts, classifications and definitions.

STATLANT A: The STATLANT A type questionnaires cover the reporting of annual catch data, requesting a breakdown of the catches by species and statistical sub-divisions of the relevant FAO major fishing area, coinciding as appropriate with the existing fishery management and conservation body, member of the CWP.

STATLANT B: The STATLANT B type questionnaire covers the reporting of the annual data on catches and the associated fishing effort, requesting a breakdown by species, statistical sub-division of the FAO major fishing area, by month of capture, by fishing gear, by size class of fishing vessel and by target species. Currently only the STATLANT 21B and STATLANT 08B questionnaires are in use, for the reporting of data on the Northwest Atlantic to NAFO, and data on the Antarctic to CCAMLR.

STATPAC: The STATPAC reporting system of questionnaires are intended to cover areas in the Pacific restricted at present to one only: Southeast Pacific with STATPAC 87A.

Sustainability: Maintaining the environment's natural qualities and characteristics and its capacity to fulfil its full range of functions, including maintenance of biodiversity (from English Nature, Planning for environmental sustainability, June 1994).

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TACs: Total Allowable Catches.

Territorial waters: The seas over which a nation exercises jurisdiction and control, but within which other states have certain rights, notably for innocent passage of vessels. In UK law, the landward limit of UK territorial seas is defined as "the low water line around the coast" (Territorial Waters Order in Council 1964); the seaward limit is 12 nautical miles offshore from the landward limit.

Trawl: Equipment towed behind a vessel for commercial fishing or scientific collecting. Bottom trawls collect demersal species; midwater trawls collect pelagic species.

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UKBAP: UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

UN: United Nations. (website)

UNCLOS: United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. (Website)

UNESCO/IOC: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization / Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. (website)

UNEP: United nations environment programme. (website)

UK Biodiversity Action Plan: the Governments programme aimed at meeting some of its obligations under the UN Convention on Biodiversity (1992) A wide range of habitat action plans (HAP) and species action plans (SAP) are being implemented to help safeguard and improve the conservation status of priority habitats and priority species (Anon, 2001).

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), which took place from 1973 through 1982. The Law of the Sea Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world's oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources.

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VMCA: Voluntary Marine Conservation Area.

VMEs: Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems.

VMS: vessel monitoring system.

vessel monitoring system: A fishing vessel monitoring system (VMS) is a cost-effective tool for the successful monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) of fisheries activities. VMS provides a fishery management agency with accurate and timely information about the location and activity of regulated fishing vessels.

Voluntary Marine Conservation Area: Areas of coastline which enjoys a level of voluntary protection. VMCAs are run by a range of organisations and steering groups and are often supported by community or volunteer groups.

vulnerable: 1) Open to attack or susceptible to receiving wounds or physical injury (adapted from OED, 1990). 2) IUCN Red List categories - a taxon which is not 'Critically endangered' (q.v.) or 'Endangered' (q.v.) but is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium term future (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, 1994) (cf. 'Extinct', 'Critically endangered', 'Endangered').

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WGDEC: Working Group on Deepwater Ecology.

WSSD: World Summit on Sustainable Development. (website)

WWF:  World Wildlife Fund. (website)

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ZSL: Zoological Society of London. (website

zonation= community stratification. Physical factors like wave exposure and light vary with depth. Species and assemblages then occupy bands (zones) according to where they survive best, which is usually a compromise between optimal living conditions and competition with other species, and predation.

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