Introducing the UK Centre for Seabed Mapping (CSM)
Four priorities the UK CSM seeks to address
The UK CSM (with a focus on bathymetry) seeks to address four recommendations set out in The future of UK marine geospatial data study: Data Collaboration, Data Standards, Data Accessibility and Data Collection.
Creating conditions and developing infrastructure to enable our diverse community of stakeholders to come together to deliver significant, sustained and strategic benefits to the UK, particularly in the context of the Integrated Review, National Strategy for Maritime Security, and the UK’s Global Britain vision.
Increasing the adoption of agreed UK and international standards for the collection of marine geospatial data and metadata. This would provide much needed consistency and interoperability in developing the marine geospatial ecosystem, and follow the "Collect once, use many times" principle, and also gives the private sector confidence of direction.
Data only has value if it can be clearly identified, accessed and used, and it’s important to get the balance right between enabling free access whilst also honouring intellectual property (IP) rights, national security and good data governance. As a community sector we will work to remove obstacles and find and implement holistic solutions.
There are at least 30 public sector organisations using public funds to collect or use data around the world for a wide range of purposes. This is largely carried out in isolation or small, topical collaborations. Having a centre will help stakeholders understand what data collection activities are planned and identify collaborative opportunities. This can in turn remove duplication, optimise economies of scale and the quality and quantity of data being collected under current funding.
"Data provided through the UK Centre for Seabed mapping collaboration underpins the fundamental science done within the British Geological Survey's seabed geology programme. Such data enables us to help with seabed conservation and management of the marine environment".
The future of UK marine geospatial data report
A collaborative study from partners across government, industry and academia reveals that groups responsible for gathering marine geospatial information must find new, more efficient ways of working together.
The UK CSM aims to deliver on the four recommendations set out in the evidence based report.
UK CSM submitted as UK Government Voluntary Commitment to UN Ocean Decade
The creation of the UK Centre for Seabed Mapping (UK CSM) was submitted as a UK Government Voluntary Commitment to the United Nations at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, on 27 June 2022.
The aim of the conference is to propel much needed science-based innovative solutions that focus on starting a new chapter of global ocean action, anchored within the UN Ocean Decade's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's).
The UK CSM aims to contribute to the UN Ocean Decade SDG 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation, and SDG 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
UK CSM included as part of the new National Strategy for Maritime Security
The Department for Transport has published its new maritime security strategy. One of the key principles of the UK government approach to managing maritime threats and risks at home, and around the world, is to improve the provision of marine geospatial data.
We support the government approach in leveraging the UK’s world-leading seabed mapping community to tackle these threats, and enhancing the UK’s maritime security knowledge through the recently established UK Centre for Seabed Mapping.
Rear Admiral Rhett Hatcher, UK National Hydrographer commented: “The new National Strategy for Maritime Security provides a keystone, collaborative strategy, which for the first time recognises how critical marine geospatial data is to optimising and safeguarding the UK’s maritime sector. Through the new UK Centre for Seabed Mapping, the UKHO, along with the UK-wide community of seabed mapping experts, will come together under one banner to improve the coordination, collaboration and impact of our combined work”
Find out more about the UK CSM
Supporting safe, secure and thriving oceans
Whether reducing our carbon emissions to net zero or enhancing seaborne trade as part of Maritime 2050, a better understanding of our marine environment is key.
We work with others to build this understanding through the collection and analysis of data from seabed to surface. Our teams provide specialist expertise to help partners deliver projects that make the best use of the marine environment.