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Glossary of Terms

ALSF Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund – a government imposed levy on all primary aggregate production (including marine aggregates) to reflect the environmental cost of winning these materials. A proportion of the revenue generated is used to provide a source of funding for research aimed at minimising the effects of aggregate production. This fund, delivered through Defra. Also known as MALSF the Marine Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund.
BAP Biodiversity Action Plan or United Kingdom BAP (UK BAP) - the governmental response to the Convention on Biological Diversity signed in 1992. As of 2009  1,150 species and 65 habitats are identified as needing conservation and greater protection and are covered by UK BAPs. There are also about 188 Local BAPs (LBAPs) in the UK.
Bern Convention Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. A binding international legal instrument in the field of nature conservation, which covers the whole of the natural heritage of the European continent and extends to some States of Africa. Its aims are to conserve wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats and to promote European co-operation in that field.
BNA Bass Nursery Area – an area of marine habitat which has been identified as having an elevated level of productivity per unit area for bass e.g. for breeding purposes or where a great number of juveniles reside. Some BNAs are afforded protection under UK secondary legislation.
BSFO British Sea Fishery Officer
CCW Countryside Council for Wales - The Countryside Council for Wales is the Government's statutory advisor on sustaining natural beauty, wildlife and the opportunity for outdoor enjoyment in Wales and its inshore waters.
CEFAS Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science - an Executive agency of DEFRA and an internationally renowned aquatic scientific research and consultancy centre.

CF&CO Chief Fisheries & Conservation Officer for an IFCA.
CFP Common Fisheries Policy - is the fisheries policy of the EU. It sets quotas for which, member states, are allowed to catch what amounts of each type of fish, as well as encouraging the fishing industry by various market interventions.
COWRIE Collaborative Offshore Windfarm Research Into the Environment – a registered charity set up to advance and improve understanding and knowledge of the potential environmental impacts of offshore windfarm development in UK waters.

CPA Coastal Protection Act
CPUE Catch Per Unit Effort - Catch per unit of fishing effort is the total catch divided by the total amount of effort used to harvest that catch.
CZM Coastal Zone Management (see ICZM)
DCF&CO Deputy Chief Fisheries & Conservation Officer for an IFCA
DEFRA Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - the government department responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities in the United Kingdom.

EA Environment Agency - Executive non-departmental public body responsible to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

EFF European Fisheries Fund – a fund for the sustainable development of fisheries in the EU. The fund will both support the industry as it adapts its fleet to make it more competitive and promote measures to protect and enhance the environment. It will also help fisheries communities most affected by the resulting changes to diversify their economic base. Support will be reinforced for measures that will ensure that the industry will continue to have access to the skilled labour force it requires. The EFF began in Jan 07 replacing the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) and it will run for 7 years with a budget of €3.8 billion.
EFH Essential Fish Habitat – any habitat that is fundamental to the well-being of populations or communities of fish. It may be applied to a habitat that a species utilises throughout its life, or at a particular time e.g. spawning, nursery or feeding areas.
EHO Environmental Health Officer
EIA Environmental Impact Assessment - an assessment of the possible impact positive or negative that a proposed project may have on the environment; considering natural, social and economic aspects.
EMS European Marine Site - refers to those marine areas of both SACs and SPAs, which are protected under the EC Habitats and Birds Directives. An EMS can be an entire SAC or SPA, or only part of one (the SAC/SPA may also include terrestrial areas). However, ‘European Marine Site’ is not a statutory site designation: these areas are essentially management units for those parts of Natura 2000 sites which extend beyond the SSSI/Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) designations in the UK.
ES Environmental Statement
ETP Endangered, Threatened and Protected species
EUNIS European Union Nature Information System – a European system which holds data on species, habitat types and sites. The information held is used for environmental reporting and for assistance of international conventions. The species system holds information on over 275,000 taxa, the habitat type classification system provides a consistent format to describe and record habitat data and the site module provides a central forum to obtain information on specific sites of biodiversity interest or nature protection.

FAO Food & Agriculture Organization of the Unites Nations - FAO's mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy.

FEPA Food and Environment Protection Act - FEPA licences mainly permit construction within the marine environment, or the deposition of materials at sea.
FIFG Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance – a fund to provide structural assistance to help achieve the aims of the CFP. This fund has now been replaced by the EFF.
FO Fishery Officer
FPV Fisheries Protection Vessel e.g. F.P.V. Watchful
FRS Fisheries Research Services – the Scottish organisation for fisheries research. In April 2009 FRS merged with the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency (SFPA) and the Scottish Government Marine Directorate to form Marine Scotland - Scotland’s new marine management organisation
FV Fishing Vessel
GEP Good Ecological Potential – with respect to the Water Framework Directive (WFD) GEP aims to achieve the best for ecology taking into account the uses of a water body.
GES Good Ecological Status – with respect to the Water Framework Directive (WFD) GES is defined locally as being lower than a theoretical reference point of pristine conditions, i.e. in the absence of anthropogenic influence.
GIS Geographic(al) Information System – a system which captures, stores, analyzes, manages, and presents data that is linked to location.
GPS Global Positioning System – GPS is a U.S. space-based global navigation satellite system. It provides reliable positioning, navigation, and timing services to worldwide users on a continuous basis in all weather, day and night, anywhere on or near the Earth.
Habitats Directive A European Union directive adopted in 1992 as an EU response to the Berne Convention. It is one of the EU's two directives in relation to wildlife and nature conservation, the other being the Birds Directive. Formally known as Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora.
ICES International Council for the Exploration of the Sea - a leading multidisciplinary scientific forum for the exchange of information and ideas on all aspects of marine sciences pertaining to the North Atlantic, Baltic Sea and North Sea. Its principal functions are to: (i) promote, encourage, develop, and coordinate marine research; (ii) publish and otherwise disseminate results of research; and (iii) provide non-biased, non-political scientific advice to member nation governments and international regulatory commissions.

ICZM Integrated coastal zone management – ICZM is a process for the management of the coast using an integrated approach, regarding all aspects of the coastal zone, including geographical and political boundaries, in an attempt to achieve sustainability.
IFCA Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities – Established on 1st April 2011 under the Marine and Coastal Access Act, 2009 Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities will lead, champion and manage a sustainable marine environment and inshore fisheries, by successfully securing the right balance between social, environmental and economic benefits to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry. IFCAs are either committees or joint committees of the local authorities that fall within an IFC district. They are tasked with the sustainable management of inshore sea fisheries resources in their local area. They are made up of representatives from the constituent local authorities (who provide funding for the IFCA) along with people from across the different sectors that use or are knowledgeable about the inshore marine area, such as commercial and recreational fishermen, environmental groups and marine researchers, who offer their time voluntarily. The Marine Management Organisation, Environment Agency and Natural England also each have a statutory seat on the IFCA. Through their local management and funding structures, IFCAs help put local authorities, local communities, local businesses and individual citizens in the driving seat, allowing them to play a bigger part in the protection and enhancement of their inshore marine environment. There are 10 IFC districts in England; these replace the old 12 Sea Fisheries Committee’s (SFCs). You are currently viewing the Southern IFCA website.
IFCO Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Officer for an IFCA
ITQ Individual Transferrable Quota - Under ITQs, members of a fishery are granted rights to a percentage of the TAC which can be harvested each year. ITQs can be fished, bought, sold, or leased.
JNCC Joint Nature Conservation Committee - a statutory advisor to UK government on international nature conservation.

M&FA Marine and Fisheries Agency – replaced by the Marine Management Organisation on 1st April 2010 under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.
MAFF Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food - a former department of the UK government, replaced in 2001.
MarClim Marine Biodiversity and Climate Change - The MarClim project was a four year multi-partner funded project created to investigate the effects of climatic warming on marine biodiversity. In particular the project aimed to use key intertidal species, whose abundances had been shown to fluctuate with changes in climatic conditions, as indicators of changes occurring in the intertidal and offshore.
MCA Maritime and Coastguard Agency - a UK executive agency working to prevent the loss of lives at sea and responsible for implementing British and International maritime law and safety policy.

MCAA Marine & Coastal Access Act 2009 – An Act of Parliament with the aim to achieve ‘clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas’ and to provide better protection for our marine environment; sustainable use of our marine resources; an integrated planning system for managing our seas, coasts and estuaries; a robust legal framework for decision-making; streamlined regulation and enforcement; and access to the coast.
MCS Marine Conservation Society – a UK charity which campaigns for clean seas and beaches, sustainable fisheries, protection of marine life and habitats and the sensitive use of marine resources.
MCSS UK Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance System - involves the UK reporting of sightings of vessels, whether by fisheries patrol aircraft, fisheries patrol vessels, or in-port inspectors. It includes the details for boarding’s of fishing vessels and since 2000 has maintained a database of position reports from vessels reported via Satellite Transponders placed on the fishing vessel. MCSS maintains records of prosecutions and other actions against infringements of UK and EU Fisheries Regulations and contains a GIS application allowing the user to plot positions, whether physical sightings or Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) position reports. This system is managed by CEFAS on behalf of the M&FA (also see RNSS).
MCZ Marine Conservation Zone – MCZs will protect nationally important marine wildlife, habitats, geology and geomorphology. MCZs, together with other types of MPA, will deliver the Government's aim for an 'ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas'. The Marine Conservation Zone Project has been established by Defra, NE and JNCC to identify and recommend MCZs to government. The MCZ Project will be delivered through four Regional Projects; the South East project is called ‘Balanced Seas’.

MEDIN Marine Environmental Data and Information Network - a partnership of Government Departments, Devolved Administrations and Government agencies both using and generating marine data. The partnership was set up in 2007 to improve access to and management of UK marine environmental data and information.
MEO Marine Enforcement Officer – the powers of an MEO are laid down in the Marine and Coastal Access Act, 2009. 
MES Ltd Marine Ecological Surveys Ltd – a company which provides authoritative scientific advice on the impacts of major industrial and construction proposals in the marine environment. MES Ltd can conduct full site appraisals, scoping/feasibility studies, EIAs and Environmental Statements.

MESH Mapping European Seabed Habitats - The project started in 2004 and is made up of a consortium of twelve partners from five European countries led by the UK’s Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). The partnership draws together scientific and technical habitat-mapping skills, expertise in data collation and its management, and proven practical experience in the use of seabed-habitat maps for environmental management within national regulatory frameworks.
MMO Marine Management Organisation – an executive non-departmental public body established and given powers under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 to make a significant contribution to sustainable development in the marine area and to promote the UK government’s vision for clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas.

MPA Marine Protected Area – A collective term for all marine areas that are protected regardless of the type of designation i.e. it includes MCZ’s, SAC’s, SPA’s, SSSI’s, Natura sites etc.
MSC Marine Stewardship Council – an international non-profit organisation working with fisheries, seafood companies, scientists, conservation groups and the public to promote the best environmental choice in seafood and leading on certification and eco-labelling programmes for sustainable seafood’s.
MSY Maximum Sustainable Yield – the maximum, most cost-effective yield that can be taken on a sustainable basis.
Natura 2000 An ecological network of protected areas in the territory of the European Union.
NE Natural England – the UK government advisor on the natural environment. This includes being responsible for marine nature conservation advice for inshore (territorial) waters out to 12nm.
NGO Non Government Organisation - a legally constituted organisation with no participation or representation of any government; commonly charities.
NFFO National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations is the representative body for fishermen in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The mission of the NFFO is to contribute to, and advance EU and National Fisheries Policy to ensure a profitable, viable and sustainable fishing industry.
NSA National Shellfisheries Association - an international organization of scientists, management officials and members of industry concerned with the biology, ecology, production, economics and management of shellfish resources.
NUFTA New Under Ten Fishermen’s Association - a non-profit making organisation which represents its members in the under 10m and non-sector, that require representation at national and European levels, regarding any issues that affect fish stocks and fishermen's livelihoods.
OSPAR Oslo and Paris Commission / Convention – The Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic; it is the current legislative instrument regulating international cooperation on environmental protection in the North-East Atlantic. 
PO Producer Organisation – association of individuals, companies and other bodies within the fishing industry intended to optimise supply and increase efficiency of marketing – both fundamental objectives of the CFP. Some PO’s also manage the quotas awarded, under licence, to members’ boats.
The Ramsar Convention (The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat) is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands, i.e., to stem the progressive encroachment on and loss of wetlands now and in the future, recognizing the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value. Ramsar sites are designated under the Ramsar convention.
RBS Registration of Buyers and Sellers - The requirements for registration of buyers and sellers of fish; a result of the Registration of Fish Buyers and Sellers Regulations 2005 (England). The intention of the regulation was to improve the monitoring and control of fish and shellfish landed in the UK. Sellers of first sale fish must provide sales notes to the MMO when they sell fish through designated (registered) auction centres or markets. Buyers must provide sales notes for all other forms of sale. Sellers and buyers of first sale fish have to be registered with the authorities.
REC Regional Environmental Characterisation - Regional survey projects commissioned by the Marine ALSF. The aim of REC surveys is to acquire data, to enable broadscale characterisation of the seabed habitats, their biological communities and potential historic environment assets within the regions. The Regional Environmental Characterisations (RECs) are being conducted in the South Coast, Outer Thames, East Coast and Humber.
RFS Responsible Fishing Scheme - developed by Seafish to raise standards in the catching sector. It aims to demonstrate that a vessel operates to industry good practice guidelines and gives an assurance to the supply chain that fish from the vessel has been caught responsibly.
Risk Based Approach 'An approach to the exercise of regulatory functions whereby regulatory activities are proportionate to the risks posed to clients, third parties or the public interest by particular firms, individuals or fields of practice, and are targeted accordingly'
RNSS Royal Navy Surveillance System – a sub system of MCSS, a Microsoft Access database which stores the details of boarding’s and sightings from fisheries patrol vessels; commonly the RN and IFCA’s. The data is 'bundled' into small comma separated text files and emailed as attachments to an operator in Headquarters for importing. It also contains a smaller GIS mapping application for presentation of localised VMS reports etc.
SAC Special Area of Conservation - defined in the European Commission Habitats Directive to protect the 220 habitats and approximately 1000 species listed in annex I and II of the directive which are considered to be of European interest following criteria given in the directive. They must be chosen from the Sites of Community Importance by the State Members and designated SAC by an act assuring the conservation measures of the natural habitat. SACs complement Special Protection Areas (SPA’s) and together form a network of protected sites across the European Union called Natura 2000.
SAGB Shellfish Association of Great Britain - The shellfish industry’s trade body providing support, technical advice and mediation for the UKs shellfish industry. Members include Shellfish farmers, groups of fishermen, commercial traders and companies, the Seafish Industry Authority, consultants and many of the IFCA's.
SAIF Sustainable Access to Inshore Fisheries – A Defra project aimed at taking a fresh look at the way in which the English inshore fleet operates and to be innovative in the approach to the future. SAIF is aiming to develop a long term strategy for sustainability in fleet, not only from an economic perspective, but also from a social and environmental one.
SEA Strategic Environmental Assessment - a system of incorporating environmental considerations into policies, plans and programmes. It is sometimes referred to as Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment. The specific term Strategic Environmental Assessment relates to European Union policy.
SeaFish A Non Departmental Government Body sponsored by the UK government fisheries departments and funded by a levy on seafood’s. Seafish work across all sectors of the seafood industry, including fishermen, processors, wholesalers, seafood farmers, fish friers, caterers, retailers and the import/export tradeworks, to promote good quality, sustainable seafood and have research and projects aimed at raising standards, improving efficiency and ensuring that the industry develops in a viable way.
SeaSearch Seasearch is a project for volunteer recreational SCUBA divers. The main aim is to map out the various types of sea bed found in the near-shore zone around the UK by recording what lives in each area, establishing the richest sites for marine life, the sites where there are problems and the sites which need protection.
SEEDA South East England Development Agency - a Government funded agency responsible for the economic and social development of the South East of England.
SEPA Scottish Environment Protection Agency - Scotland’s environmental regulator. SEPA is a non-departmental public body, accountable through Scottish Ministers to the Scottish Parliament with the role of ‘protecting and improving the environment’.
SEMS Solent European Marine Site - The Solent contains seven international nature conservation sites: there is a candidate maritime Special Area of Conservation (SAC); 3 classified (i.e. designated) Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and 3 Ramsar sites. These designations have varying levels of overlap. The areas within these designations that lie below Highest Astronomical Tide (HAT) have become known collectively as the Solent European Marine Sites (Solent EMS). See EMS.

SFC Sea Fisheries Committee - There used to be 12 SFCs that regulated local sea fisheries around virtually the entire coast of England and Wales out to 6 nautical miles. SFCs were established in the 19th century and were empowered to make byelaws for the management and conservation of their districts' fisheries. Bylaws could apply to all fishing activities within the District, whether from the shore or from a vessel. In 1995 their powers were widened to include the control of fisheries in their districts for marine environmental purposes. SFCs worked in co-operation with stakeholders on both a local and national level to deliver effective fisheries management in the inshore marine area. On 1st April 2011 SFCs were replaced under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 by Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs).

SFP Sustainable Fisheries Partnership - provides strategic and technical guidance to seafood suppliers and producers, helps convene them together with other like-minded companies in Fishery Improvement Partnerships, and builds consensus around specific improvements in policies, marine conservation measures, and fishing and fish-farming practices.
SPA Special Protection Area - designation under the European Union directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds. Member States of the European Union (EU) have a duty to safeguard the habitats of migratory birds and certain particularly threatened birds.
SSB Spawning Stock Biomass - an estimate of the total weight of fish from a given stock which are involved in the spawning process at spawning time. It is derived from estimates of numbers of fish at each age in the stock at spawning time, multiplied by the proportion mature at each age, and finally multiplied by the estimated average weight of an individual fish at each age.
SSSI Site of Special Scientific Interest - a conservation designation denoting a protected area in the United Kingdom. SSSIs are the basic building block of site-based nature conservation legislation and most other legal nature/geological conservation designations in Great Britain are based upon them, including National Nature Reserves, Ramsar Sites, Special Protection Areas, and Special Areas of Conservation. e.g. Chichester harbour and Pagham harbour.
TAC Total Allowable Catch - The CFP sets quotas for how much of each fish species can be caught. Each country is given a TAC; a quota based upon the total available and their traditional share of the catch. TACs are fixed annually by the council of ministers in December.
VMS Vessel Monitoring System – It is EU fishery law that all vessels >15m vessel length carry a satellite transponder. In the UK the system is operated by the MMO (see MCSS and RNSS), satellites track the positions of fishing vessels and feed the information back to the Fisheries Monitoring Centre to support the monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing activity.
WAG Welsh Assembly Government
WB Water body – any significant accumulation of water.
WFD Water Framework Directive - The WFD is an EU directive which commits member states to achieve good qualitative and quantitative status of all water bodies (including marine waters up to 1 km from the shore) by 2015. It requires that all inland and coastal waters within defined river basin districts must reach at least ‘good status’ and defines how this should be achieved through the establishment of environmental objectives and ecological targets for surface waters.
Wildlife Trusts There are 47 Wildlife Trusts in the UK and British Isles, each is an independent, autonomous charity with its own trustees, whose primary concern is the conservation of nature within its own geographical area and many have the responsibility of managing nature reserves. All are members of the Society of Wildlife Trusts; together they form the largest UK voluntary organisation and often come together to work on national and international issues to promote conservation and raise and manage funds for environmental programmes throughout the UK.
WWF World Wildlife Fund – is a charity and the world’s leading environmental organisation being active in over 100 countries.

Information Sources

The majority of this information was sourced from organisations independent websites or from the following links:
Anon. 2001. A glossary of Marine Nature Conservation and Fisheries. Countryside Council for Wales, Bangor.
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