Recreation : Glossary and acronyms

Glossary and acronyms

Annex I Habitats

A natural habitat listed in Annex I of the Habitats Directive for which Special Areas of Conservation can be selected.

Annex II Species

A species listed in Annex II of the Habitats Directive for which Special Areas of Conservation can be selected.


Best Available Technology Not Entailing Excessive Cost


"The variability among living organisms from all source including, (biological diversity) inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems." (UN Convention on biological Diversity, 1992.)


The 'habitat' (i.e. the environment's physical and chemical characteristics) together with its recurring associated community of species, operating together on a particular scale.

Birds Directive

The abbreviated term for Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the Conservation of Wild Birds. This Directive aims to protect bird species within the European Union through the conservation of populations of certain birds and the habitats used by these species.


British Marine Industries Federation


Best Practical Environmental Option

Capital Dredging

Improvement of dredged channels, or creation of new channels or deep areas for newly constructed berths


Countryside Council for Wales

Characteristic Species

Special to or especially abundant in a particular situation or biotope. Characteristic Species should be immediately conspicuous and easily identified (Hiscock, 1996).

Competent Authority

Any Minister, government department, public or statutory undertaker, public body or person holding a public office that exercises legislative powers.

Conservation Feature

A natural or semi-natural feature for which a SAC/SPA has been feature selected. This includes any Habitats Directive Annex I habitat, or specific component of their flora and fauna, or any Annex II species and any population of a bird species for which an SPA has been designated under a Birds Directive. Any habitat of a species for which a site has been selected, or typical species of an Annex I habitat, are also considered to be conservation features (SNH, 1997).

Conservation Objective

A statement of the nature conservation aspirations for a site, expressed in terms of the favourable condition that we wish the species and/or habitats for which the site has been selected to attain. Conservation objectives for European marine sites relate to the aims of the Habitats and Birds Directive (SNH, 1997).


Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland is the statutory nature conservation agency and the licensing authority for the disposal of dredge material (equivalent of EN/SNH, MAFF/SOAEFD and EA/SEPA).

Dominant Species

The most visually conspicuous species.


Environment Agency


English Nature


European Sea Ports Organisation

European Marine Site

A European site (SAC/SPA) which consists of, or so far as it consists of marine areas.

Favourable Conservation Status

A range of conditions for a natural habitat or species at which the sum of the influences acting upon that habitat or species are not adversely affecting its distribution, abundance, structure or function throughout the EU in the long term. The condition in which the habitat or species is capable of sustaining itself on a long term basis.


Habitats Directive

The abbreviated term for the Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Flora and Fauna. It is the aim of this directive to promote the conservation of certain habitats and species within the EU.

Harmful Substance

Any substance which, if introduced to the sea, is liable to create hazards to human health, harm living resources and marine life, damage amenities interfere with other legitimate uses of the sea, and includes any substances subject to control by the Convention. (ICS,1997)


International Maritime Organisation


The ability a habitat, community or individual (or individual colony) of a species to cope with an external factor.

Introduced Species

Any species introduced by human agency into a geographical region outside its natural range. The term includes non-established (‘alien’) species and established non-natives, but includes hybrid taxa derived from introductions (‘derivatives’) (Eno et al, 1997).


Joint Nature Conservancy Council

Maintenance Dredging

Preservation of navigational channels and berths

Management Scheme

The framework established by the relevant authorities at a European marine site under which their functions are exercised to secure, in relation to that site, compliance with the requirements of the Habitats Directive.

Maritime Activity

A human-induced operation which occurs in the marine or coastal environment.


Maritime and Coastguard Agency (previously the Marine Safety Agency)


Surveillance undertaken to ensure that formulated standards are being maintained. The term is also applied to compliance monitoring against accepted standards to ensure that agreed or required measures are being followed.

Natura 2000 network

The European network of protected sites established under the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive (SACs andSPAs).

Non-native (species)

A species that has been introduced by human agency (deliberately or otherwise) to an area where it has not occurred in historical times (taken as being since 500 years before present) and which is separate from and lies outside, the area where natural range extension could be expected. The species has become established in the wild and has self-maintaining populations. (Eno et al, 1997).

Operations which may cause deterioration or disturbance

Any activity or operation taking place within, adjacent to or remote from a European marine site that has the potential to cause deterioration to natural habitats for which the site was designated, or disturbance to the species and its habitat for which the site was designated.


Plans and Projects

Any proposed development that is within a relevant authority’s function to control, or over which a competent authority has a statutory function to decide on applications for consents, authorisations, licences or permissions .

Polluter Pays Principle

When production processes threaten or cause damage to the environment, the cost of necessary environmental measures should be borne by the producer and not society at large, giving incentives to reduce pollution.

Precautionary Principle

The assumption that where there are real threats of damage to the environment, lack of scientific information should not be used as a justification for postponing measures to prevent such damage occurring.


The ability of a species to return to its former status once conditions return.


The abbreviated term for the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994. The equivalent legislation for Northern Ireland is the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1995. This is the legislation that transposes the requirements of the Habitats and Birds Directive into UK law.

Relevant Authority

The specific competent authorities identified in the Regulations, who have powers or functions which have, or could have, an impact on the marine environment within, or adjacent to, a European Marine site.


Royal Yachting Association


Scottish Environment Protection Agency


The intolerance of a habitat, community or individual (or individual colony) of a species to damage or death from an external factor (Hiscock, 1996).

Site of Special Scientific Interest

An area of land or Water Notified by the Nature Conservancy Council or its successor country agencies under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as being of special nature or geological importance.


Scottish Office Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries Department (Licensing authority for the disposal of dredged material in Scotland)


Scottish Natural Heritage

Special Area of Conservation(SAC)

A site of Community importance designated by the Member States where the necessary conservation measures are applied for the measurement or restoration, at a favourable conservation status, of the habitats and or species for which the site is designated.

Special Protection Area(SPA)

A site designated under the Birds Directive by the Member States where appropriate steps are taken to protect the bird species for which the site is designated.

Statutory Nature Conservation Agency

The statutory national nature conservation bodies are the Countryside Council for Wales, English Nature, Scottish Natural Heritage and their Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the Department for the Environment (Northern Ireland).

Suspended Sediment

A measure of the mass of particles in suspension per volume of water (IADC/CEDA, 1998).

Sustainable Development

The use of resources to meet the needs of the present compromising without the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.


An optical property of water related to light attenuation. Turbidity increases as the amount of suspended sediments in the water column increase (IADC/CEDA, 1998).


The UK Centre for Economic and Environmental Development

Voluntary Principle

An approach to site management based on the regulation of activities through the use of statutory controls.


Vessel Traffic Services direct ships within a harbour area


The exposure of a habitat community or individual (or individual colony) to an external factor to which it is sensitive (Hiscock, 1996).


Useless, unneeded or superfluous matter which is to be discarded (ICS, 1997)


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