DASSH - MEDIN data archive centre for marine species and habitats data

about DASSH

DASSH aims to safeguard marine biological data (past and future) and make that data available as a national information resource to support marine science and better stewardship of the marine environment.

The DASSH team at the Marine Biological Association have extensive expertise in the management and archiving of marine biological datasets and the development of relevant data and metadata standards. The Data Archive Centre builds on 125 years of marine biological research data. DASSH holds data from a wide variety of providers and offers archive and dissemination functions to its contributors and users.

The data held within DASSH is critical in supporting Marine Spatial Planning, Environmental Impact Assessments and to provide the evidence base to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). In addition DASSH can assist in meeting the reporting requirements of UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy, which in turn addresses the reporting for more than 40 national and international obligations including OSPAR, Water Framework Directive (WFD) and other marine environmental directives.

DASSH can work with partners to ensure compliance with the INSPIRE directive, answer Freedom of Information (FOI) or Environmental Information Regulation (EIR) enquiries facilitate data availability for public consultations and service requests for data to underpin Environmental Impact Assessments or research projects.

data held

The archive currently contains over a million records of marine species and habitats including species indicative of climate change, environmental degradation and species or habitats listed under UK and international legislation.

submitting data

To submit data to DASSH use the contact details below or on www.dassh.ac.uk

DASSH will receive and archive data supplied in the relevant MEDIN guideline at no cost. In other cases the archiving cost will be assessed on a case by case basis depending on the format, size and complexity of the dataset. Please contact DASSH directly to discuss data submission, using dassh.enquiries@mba.ac.uk

accessing the data

DASSH disseminates the data held through the DASSH website, currently using an online mapping/querying application, and the National Biodiversity Network Gateway. In addition metadata is available through the MEDIN Portal. Access to habitat data, images, video and GIS layers via the DASSH website is scheduled for August 2011.

examples of data use

Data from DASSH has recently been used in the development of UK-wide data layers to inform the designation of Marine Conservations Zones (Defra MB0102 contract), the development of maps and dossiers on Priority Marine Features for Scotland and in data mining to develop mapping strategies for fish species in Welsh waters. In addition DASSH routinely responds to specific queries from research scientists, consultancies and government agencies.

contact details


The Laboratory
Citadel Hill


+44(0)1752 633291


01752 633102