MeshAtlantic - Mapping Atlantic Area Seabed Habitats


Completed September 2013

The MeshAtlantic Project provided harmonised seabed habitat maps of the coastal and shelf areas of the Northeast Atlantic to enable development of sustainable management plans at both regional and European levels.
The Marine Institute teamed up with ten partners from institutions in other Atlantic Area countries (France, Portugal and Spain) to contribute to and deliver on all key areas of the project. The three-year project is divided into four operational work activities:

  • Map Collation – bringing together habitat and substrate data from existing maps and datasets in the Atlantic Area.
  • New Surveys – collection of data in pilot Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), design of a habitat mapping survey specifically for MPA designation purposes and improvement of the EUNIS classification for southwest European regions.
  • Making New Maps – delivered harmonised broadscale seabed habitat map for the Atlantic Area and of detailed maps at a local level on MPA sites
  • Communication – stakeholder workshops and the creation of a WebGIS to deliver interactive maps.

 Collated Irish EEZ substrate data from various research institutions for generation of a broadscale EUNIS habitat map.

The project utilised existing spatial data from national repositories. Collation of the various datasets into standardised formats and the generation habitat maps add value to a relatively limited and dispersed set of data resources. Information on the broadscale distribution of EUNIS habitats improves the quality of maritime spatial plans for the growing, sea-based economy in the Atlantic Area.

The MeshAtlantic Project (2010-2013) was financed by the Atlantic Area Programme, supported by the European Regional Development Fund.
To discover more about the MeshAtlantic Project go to