A regional basis for Charting Progress 2

The Charting Progress 2 assessment sub-divides the entire UK sea area into eight regions (Figure 1.1). There is greater emphasis today on the ecosystem-based approach both in domestic and international legislation. Thus, rather than basing the division on administrative boundaries, we chose the regions, based on the 11 bio-geographic regions identified as part of the Review of Marine Nature Conservation (RMNC) 2004, principally using physical and biological features such as tidal fronts and seabed flora and fauna. Since Charting Progress there have been some small but important changes to the boundaries of the regions. These changes reflect our improved knowledge about the distribution of bio-geographical features; ensure alignment with EU Water Framework Directive water bodies and the need in future, to align with the regions and sub-regions of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Given the broad regional assessment scale, these boundary changes have a minor impact when comparing status now with that assessed in 2005. However, it should be noted that these boundaries are not absolute and will not necessarily be used for determining jurisdiction or to inform spatial planning in the marine area.

Full titles of the eight Charting Progress 2 regions and the areas they contain (shortened names used for subsequent references in the report are provided in brackets)

Region 1: Northern North Sea
Region 2: Southern North Sea
Region 3: Eastern English Channel (Eastern Channel)
Region 4: Western Channel, Celtic Seas and South West Approaches (Western Channel and Celtic Sea)
Region 5: Irish Sea Region and North Channel (Irish Sea)
Region 6: Minches and Western Scotland
Region 7: Scottish Continental Shelf
Region 8: Atlantic North-West Approaches, Rockall Trough and Faeroe / Shetland Channel (Atlantic North-West Approaches)

Figure 1.1 Charting Progress 2 Regional Sea boundaries.