about us

Marine data are held by many organisations in the UK and are collected for many different purposes:

image of fisheries research vessel
  • for the timing of tides to determine the position of submerged obstacles
  • about the position of submerged obstacles
  • for marine conservation
  • to monitor and forecast weather and ocean states
  • to site marine structures
  • for scientific research to understand marine processes

The Marine Environmental Data and Information Network (MEDIN) promotes sharing of, and improved access to, these data. It is an open partnership and its partners represent government departments, research institutions and private companies.

Marine data are expensive to collect and always unique in relation to time and geographical position. There are wide benefits to be gained from working together to share and properly manage these data.

how data sharing is achieved

MEDIN aims to provide:

  • secure long-term management of marine data sets by setting up a network of Data Archive Centres (DACs)
  • improved access to authoritative marine data held in this network, through a central discovery metadata portal
  • an agreed set of common standards for metadata, data format and content maintained and supported by partners
  • guidelines, contractual clauses and software tools to support standards and best practice data management

main end users of MEDIN

There are 5 distinct groups of potential customers for marine data made available via the MEDIN framework:

  • Government Departments/Agencies
    Marine data are required for a range of reasons including:
    (i) Monitoring of our seas for reporting and status assessment.
    (ii) Informing marine planning and assisting in the range of human uses, for example, safe navigation, fishing sustainably.
    (iii) Assimilating data into operational oceanographic models to increase the accuracy of forecasts (e.g. by the Navy and Met Office). Computer models used for weather forecasting assimilate marine data as do the models used to predict storm surges. Accurate forecasts affect planning for many other sectors within the UK.

  • Commercial Organisations
    Marine data are required by commercial organisations at many stages of a project including: assessing a resource; selecting an optimal site or route; informing engineering design based on operational conditions; satisfying licensing requirements or environmental impact assessments. They are a key input in operational planning.

  • Academia/research councils/blue skies research
    Marine data underpin key scientific research, are used in hypothesis testing and are required in order to put research into a geographic and temporal context.

  • Charities and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
    There is a demand for marine data from conservation charities and NGOs, both for general interest reasons and also to allow stakeholders to participate in marine planning and management processes.

  • General Public
    There is a demand for marine data from individual members of the public. This stems from general interest, the desire to use our coasts and seas safely for recreation and tourism and, increasingly a desire to contribute to marine planning.

how MEDIN is organised

Governance of MEDIN is through the MEDIN Sponsors Board and the MEDIN Executive Team. The network is funded by a consortium of sixteen sponsoring organisations. There are also MEDIN partners who are not necessarily sponsors but are organisations contributing to the work of MEDIN.

image of oystercatchers on an Orkney beach

Day-to-day operation of MEDIN is performed by the core team, based in Liverpool. MEDIN workstreams are the vehicle by which different tasks and activities are undertaken. Partners get directly involved in the working groups convened under these work streams.

More information on how MEDIN works can be found on our work stream documents page

MEDIN reports directly to the Marine Science Coordination Committee (MSCC) (previously the Inter Agency Committee on Marine Science and Technology (IACMST)).