The Marine Biological Association

Promoting marine scientific excellence and representing the marine biological community since 1884

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South West Marine Science Forum


Principal aims of the SW forum relate to characterization of European Marine sites in the South West (Estuarine SACs and SPAs).

  • To address common issues in relation to south west marine sites and water quality
  • To clarify environmental questions
  • To link people/institutions/management in the SW and share information and experience
  • To advise on research/monitoring needs (to underpin site protection)
  • To develop research proposals
  • To facilitate better co-ordination, planning and lead-in times for projects
  • To communicate the scientific initiatives in the SW, and the benefits, to the public

Major issues

  • Water quality
  • Environmental protection
  • Conservation of Interest Features and ecological status
  • Biological risk assessment and biomarkers
  • Research and monitoring programmes


SAC reports –

These reports provide an overview of water and sediment quality within European Marine Sites (EMS) in the South West and examine evidence for their influence on biological condition. Site characterisation has been accomplished by review of published literature and unpublished reports, together with interrogation of summary data sets for tidal waters provided by EA.

SW European Marine Sites Bibliographic Database –

To gain access to the SW European Marine Sites database you need to join the SW Marine Science Forum. Contact Bill Langston ( for more information.

This database has been constructed and is maintained by the National Marine Biological Library (NMBL). It contains papers from the NMBL database relating to the Fal and Helford, Poole Harbour, the Exe Estuary, the Severn Estuary; Plymouth Sound and Estuaries and Chesil and the Fleet. It is possible to search or browse papers and download records of interest.

The database contains some 4200 records dating from the 19th Century. It has been updated but is still going through a checking and updating procedure. If you are aware of any omissions or errors in the database please email Bill Langston (