Obtaining and Submitting Marine Data

Obtaining Marine Data Held By DERC


Photo: Richard Edmonds

Do you require marine biodiversity data for Dorset?
Then please contact DERC

Marine data held at DERC is accessible to everyone by request, from students and local residents to local authorities, consultants and conservation organisations. The data held stretches along the Dorset Coast from Christchurch to Lyme Regis, out to a distance of 12 nautical miles.

Your data can be provided as maps, spreadsheets, species lists or GIS tables. We can also provide boundary information on the established and proposed marine Special Area of Conservation (SACs) in Dorset, as well as SSSIs and Special Protected Areas (SPAs). DERC do not charge for data, but we do make minimal charges to help cover the administrative costs of your request, either by a SLA (Service Level Agreement) or a one-off payment. We do not usually make a charge for requests from students and members of the public (except when they are part of a funded or commercial project or would be very time-consuming).

If you are interested in using our services, then please send us an email, outlining as fully as possible what your requirements are. For further assistance please call the DERC office on the number given below.

Submitting Your Marine Records

Distribution of survey records held on the marine database so far

Distribution of survey records held on
the marine database so far

(Click on the map for a larger picture)

DERC has over 30 years experience on collating information for all of Dorset's terrestrial wildlife, working with local naturalists and conservation organisations. Now that the Marine Biodiversity Database at DERC is fully established, we welcome your marine records as well.

DERC encourages organisations, groups and individuals to pass on their marine records from Dorset. The information supplied by you is invaluable in recording the rich biodiversity that Dorset has to offer and contributing to the data sets of species maintained by our database. You don’t necessarily need to be a marine ‘expert’ or even a diver, but if you have confidence in species identification or can provide a photograph your records are welcome. If you do need help with identifying a species or sighting, then DERC may be able to help. Over the years, DERC has built up a close network of marine interested individuals and groups who offer a wealth of information concerning marine species in Dorset. No matter how minor you may think your record is, it will be and is useful to us. The more information we have about our marine environments, the better able we are to record changes and plan for its management and conservation.


A ‘record’ is simply a species seen at a location by somebody on a given date. You can send DERC your sightings using the Marine Recording Form (if you are prompted to supply a user name and password, press Cancel and a read-only copy will be downloaded. You can then save this to your own computer if you wish). Simply fill in the form, print it and send it in or, using the fields as a guide, email us your sighting. Please do also send us any relevant photos. The form is self explanatory, but here are some additional notes:

  • Please complete in BLOCK CAPITALS
  • On each recording form you can enter up to 6 species. If these are from different locations or for different dates then please enter the details on separate forms
  • Clearly identify the site; where possible use GPS or obtain a grid reference from OS maps. If also known include additional information about the record's location / site, etc.
  • Contact details:- please include your telephone number and an email address

All of the records sent to us are useful and important in monitoring our marine environment and learning more about it.

Who To Contact

If you would like to know more about the Dorset Marine Biodiversity Database, or for further information on how you can become involved, please contact:

Marine Database Officer:




01305 228518