'The Marine Life Information Network - MarLIN' is an initiative of the Marine Biological Association of the UK (MBA). MarLIN pioneered the use of the Web for the dissemination of quality assured information on marine biodiversity of the North East Atlantic.

MarLIN:

"provides information resources to support marine environmental management, conservation and education"

In the last ten years, MarLIN has become the most comprehensive source of information on the marine biodiversity of the North East Atlantic. Our information is made freely and rapidly available through the Internet. The programme has developed in collaboration with the major environmental protection agencies in the United Kingdom together with academic institutions.

The aims of MarLIN are progressed through the following programms of work.

The data acquisition and dissemination programme of MarLIN transferred to the Data Archive for Seabed Species and Habitats (DASSH), a national marine data archive centre

Biodiversity and Conservation Science programme

Its core aim is to:

"provide information for effective management and conservation"

To fulfil this aim, the BACS information web pages provide a comprehensive review of the marine biodiversity of Britain and Ireland, including marine species and habitats, their ecology, habitat preferences, distribution and life histories. In addition, information on the likely effects of human activities and natural events (i.e. sensitivity) is included.

The BACS programme also conducts contract research for statutory and other Government agencies, NGOs, and policy makers on aspects of marine biodiversity, marine environmental management, marine spatial planning (MSP) and marine protected areas (MPAs)

Education and outreach programme

The 'Education and outreach' programme aims:

"to become the national provider of authoritative marine life information and high quality educational resources"

The programme engages at local, regional and national level with schools and community groups. We run a number of seashore safaris with schools and the public as well as teacher training and other events. We produce a range of guides and activities for all users. We also run national education programmes including the Shore Thing engaging with students and the public to undertake shore surveys.

Recording Marine Life programme

The 'Recording' programme aims:

"to provide a national recording scheme of UK marine life, especially species of concern or importance"

Towards this aim, the 'recording' web pages provide access to our on-line marine life recording scheme. The recording web pages also link to other recording schemes via the 'Sealife Signpost'. The 'recording' programme works with local and national recording schemes to improve data flow, data standards and information exchange.

All data collected through the MarLIN recording scheme are progressed to DASSH and made available as widely as possible through websites such as the National Biodiversity Network (NBN), the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).