Community-led Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Project

Scotland’s coastlines and waters are a special place for marine habitats and wildlife. The Community-led Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Project encourages everyone to get involved in the survey and monitoring of marine life in their local waters.

Through this project we are working directly to increase participation in marine biodiversity surveying in Scotland. This includes working to improve survey skills and increase the knowledge base within communities, providing access to suitable equipment, and supporting community-led survey planning, fieldwork and data management.

Key project focus:

  • Connect more people with Scotland’s seas.
  • Enable participation in marine biodiversity survey within Scotland by providing project resources, training, access to equipment and knowledge exchange events.
  • Develop a data journey into national marine databases to support decision making for Scotland’s inshore coasts and waters.
  • Nationally, improve our knowledge of marine species and habitat distribution around Scotland.

    The project aims to support the delivery of the Scottish Marine Protected Area (MPA) Monitoring Strategy.

    Why should I get involved?

    Community value

    • It’s fun
    • Promotes ocean stewardship and builds community connections
    • Meaningful participation in marine science and conservation

    Environmental value

    • Improve knowledge and understanding of natural environments and processes
    • Contributes to the evidence-base to inform decision-making
    • Monitor changes to the marine environment
    Man on boat sorting equipment
    Community Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Equipment Fund (Click for a full description)

    With support from the William Grant Foundation we have opened a fund for communities and local groups to purchase equipment and get involved in community-led marine survey and monitoring. Up to ten groups will be supported by the equipment fund in Spring 2021. The fund offers grants up to £1,500 for an individual community application and up to £3,000 for a joint application from two or more groups.

    Want to find out more and get involved? Please contact us by email at

    Find out more

    Marine Protected Areas

    Marine survey and monitoring in Scottish MPAs

    Community-led Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Handbook

    Latest press release - From sofa to seabed: virtual training to explore marine life

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    Partnership between NatureScot and Fauna & Flora International funded by the William Grant Foundation

    The project handbook was finalised and printed prior to NatureScot’s decision to delay a planned rebrand to NatureScot, originally scheduled for 01 May 2020, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The new branding has been retained in anticipation of the forthcoming go-live of the NatureScot brand.