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Regional & South West England Goal Scores

Cargo Ship at Sea
OHI+ Regional Goal Scores

An important part of the OHI+ project is calculating scores for geographical regions within the south west of England. This allows spatial comparison across the assessment area and helps identify geographic management priorities. However, there are many technical considerations in the model that may have region-specific impacts on goal scores. We therefore recommend reading the Regional Report and the observations and recommendations sections of each OHI+ goal available in the Technical Report.

Isles of Scilly
South West Devon
Severn Estuary & Bristol Channel
North Devon
South East Devon

Region-specific scores for the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel, North Devon, Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, South West Devon and South East Devon. The petal is shaded using a light to dark blue colour ramp as detailed in the figure legend. The central index score for each region is calculated as an equally weighted average of the region-specific goal scores. Goal/sub goal scores can range from 0 to 100. Scores, rounded to their nearest whole number, are shown in parenthesis at the outer limit of the petal together with their 2 letter or 3 letter goal/sub-goal acronym: CW - Clean Waters, FIS - Wild Caught Fisheries, MAR - Mariculture, AO - Artisanal Opportunities, TR - Tourism and Recreation, LIV - Livelihoods, ECO - Economies, LAN - Valued Landscapes, ECL - Ecological Areas, HAB - Habitats, SPP - Species, CPR - Coastal Protection, CST - Carbon Storage.

Key findings for South West regions

1. The Severn Estuary & Bristol Channel 

  • Areas designated to protect Ecological Features were the highest scoring of any region, with 41% of the coastal zone designated as of 2018.

  • Declines in marine-related jobs and the failure of wages to increase in line with the national Consumer Price Index (CPI) resulted in a Livelihoods score of 17.

  • For carbon sequestering habitats, 20% of SSSI sites were in an unfavourable conditionand only 22% had been recently monitored, suggesting further management is required.

2. North Devon

  • The region had the largest proportion of its inshore area designated for the conservation of important cultural, aesthetic, or recreational Landscapes.

  • Livelihoods scored a maximum 100, with North Devon the only region estimated to have net increases in marine jobs and wages rising in line with the Consumer Price Index.

  • The sustainability of wild-caught Fisheries scored 35, with landings dominated by species vulnerable to fishing pressure including dog sharks, skates, rays, and whelks.

3. Cornwall

  • Saltmarsh and mudflat Habitats had the highest monitoring levels in South West England, with 75% recently surveyed and over 90% in ‘Favourable’ condition. Cornwall also scored highly for other habitat-focused sub-goals:
    Carbon Storage and Coastal Protection.

  • In contrast, only 24% of SSSI sand dune site were found to be in ‘Favourable’ condition, with just 29% recently (since 2013) monitored. 

  • 17% of Cornwall’s coastal zone (1 km inland to 12 nmi offshore) was designated as a protected area for the primary purpose of Ecological Features conservation.

4. Isles of Scilly

  • Low scores were influenced by declining trends in a number of datasets, including landings and CPUE made by under ten-metre vessels, and soft-bottom benthic habitat condition.

  • Goals relating to marine industries received low scores, with no mariculture production, falling visitor numbers, and declines in workforce and viability of wages.

  • Water clarity, landings by under ten-metre vessels, and soft-bottom benthic habitat condition outperformed other regions in the source data, but received low OHI+ scores due to regional declines in recent years.

5. South West Devon

  • The region received high scores for goals relating to coastal industries including: Economies, Tourism & Recreation, Artisanal Opportunities and Mariculture.

  • Designated Areas for both culturally important landscapes and ecological features scored highly, with 53% and 30% of the respective zones designated as of 2018.

  • Carbon Storage in sequestering habitats was the only goal to score relatively poorly, with low SSSI monitoring rates and sites in the Yealm Estuary estimated to be in poor condition.

6. South East Devon

  • Designated Areas for ‘ecological’ and ‘cultural, aesthetic, or recreational’ conservation covered just 11% and 22% of the region’s coastal and inshore zones respectively.

  • Coastal Habitats recorded the lowest monitoring rates in the SW. and soft benthic habitats documented the highest levels of disturbance from bottom-towed fishing gears.

  • The region’s coastal Tourism industry recorded declines but was still estimated to have the highest visitor numbers in the South West.

Goal Scores for South West England

This project makes use of OHI+ in the UK for the first time. By adapting an established methodology, we examine how the tool performs in the context of UK relevant data and whether it provides useful insight and feedback for existing management of marine and coastal areas. For detailed methods and scores for each goal and region you can read and download the project Technical Report.

Ocean Health Index+ Score. The first OHI+ assessment for South West England revealed a region wide score of 65. Goals with higher scores included Economies and Livelihoods (Economic Productivity), Artisanal Fisheries and the Biodiversity Habitats sub-goal. The Designated Areas for Ecological purposes goal and the Species sub-goal of Biodiversity were low scoring. The overall goal scores and central index score for South West England are calculated as the area weighted average (mean) of region-specific outputs, weights are derived from region-specific sea areas (kilometres squared) from coast (mean high water) to 12 nautical miles (nmi) offshore. To learn how these scores were calculated please read the Technical Report.

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