Crown Estate Releases Irish Sea Data Collection

A manager of the UK seabed, the Crown Estate, has published a vast collection of new offshore data and information on its online Marine Data Exchange (MDE).

This data, totalling over 11.5 terabytes (TB), has been gathered from a wide range of surveys and technical studies from the former Celtic Array offshore wind project off the coast of Anglesey in Wales, and from the First Flight Wind offshore wind project off the coast of County Down, Northern Ireland.

The Irish Sea data encompasses a wealth of information, comprising environmental material, such as bird and mammal surveys; human activity evaluations, such as shipping, navigation and archaeological data; and physical environmental detail, such as geotechnical and geophysical data and sediment sampling. This follows the publication last year of a major collection of data from the former Atlantic Array offshore wind project in the Bristol Channel.

These studies can take a long time and be expensive to carry out, for example marine bird surveys, an essential part of planning to ensure that natural habitats are not affected by offshore developments, can take around three years to complete.

Huub den Rooijen, Head of Offshore Wind, said: “We are harnessing the power of open data to help build a picture of this natural resource for different marine users. By making information easily available through the Marine Data Exchange we can help stimulate research, support academia and contribute towards the sustainable development of the seabed to unlock value over the long term.”

The Marine Data Exchange also provides access to wider environmental survey data and reports collated during the planning, building and operation of offshore renewable energy projects. Recent improvements to its functionality and user experience include a new facility to generate tailored alerts to new content.

Image: crown estate
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