The existing Natural Capital Asset Index (NCAI) helps us track broad-scale changes in the quantity and quality of habitats and has been adopted as an indicator within the National Performance Framework. It includes terrestrial and (some) coastal habitats, but the index development did not include marine assets (largely due to data limitations). Advances in marine data and health indicators for the marine environment have led to this fuller analysis of what is now feasible.

This report shows that a marine NCAI is technically feasible, but points to limitations, challenges and further work that would allow a marine NCAI to be as robust and credible as possible. Limitations of marine data remains an ongoing issue  A coastal and intertidal index could be an achievable intermediate target. 

This report will allow Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and partners to properly consider and plan further work towards the development of a marine index should we wish to pursue one. Those interested in the report or with experience with marine natural capital monitoring should get in touch with Tom McKenna or Chris Leakey at SNH.

For more information on the feasibility assessment of a Marine Natural Capital Asset Index, visit the Scottish Natural Heritage website or read the full report below.