Skip to Content

Resource hub

Joint Cetacean Data Programme: Data submission and data use resources 2024


There has been no mechanism to readily access the wide range of existing cetacean monitoring datasets in the UK and wider north-east Atlantic waters, and the process to do so can be labour intensive and inefficient. Comprehensive data on which to perform analyses regarding the status of cetaceans is not available from a single source, but instead, agreement to use existing data needs to be brokered with multiple data owners/organisations. The Joint Cetacean Data Programme (JCDP) aims to collate these data into a single resource to maximise the effectiveness of the various data collection programmes and vastly improve access to the cetacean evidence base.

The Joint Cetacean Data Programme (JCDP) is a platform for collation, storage and access of cetacean data collected at-sea via ship-based or aerial observer/digital methodologies. It is a growing resource, aiming to enable best use of all available data of comparable types from which to carry out analyses at relevant spatial and temporal scales to inform cetacean research, management, policy and conservation.

Provided here are the supporting documents and guidance available to assist with the collection of data submission to and use of the JCDP Data Portal. Further information about the JCDP including additional resources is available from the JCDP Hub.


JCDP Data Standard: Core Data Fields and Vocabulary Guidance (version 2, April 2024)

One of the key objectives of the JCDP is to work with data providers to synthesise the way in which data are collected and stored, to support collation of data into a central JCDP database. The JCDP Steering Group have agreed on a data standard to enable efficient submission of datasets to the JCDP. This document outlines that standard, and data providers will need to work towards achieving the standard in order to result in compatible data with the JCDP.


JCDP Data Provision, Access and Use Guidance (version 2, December 2023)

ICES have an organisational data policy that applies to the JCDP, which is available online on the ICES website – In addition, this document aims to expand on the ICES policy to clearly set out the responsibilities that the data owners/providers and end users of the data stored within the JCDP have, with respect to making data contributions to or requesting data from the JCDP.


JCDP Metadata Guidance (version 2, June 2022)

The JCDP metadata system is hosted by GeoNetwork and is publicly accessible; This is a user guide for submitting and managing metadata for the Joint Cetacean Data Programme. Metadata is essential as part of any data submission to ensure data are understood and used appropriately. We have developed a standardised approach following the Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe (INSPIRE) format, to coordinate across datasets to simplify use of the JCDP. Here you will find a step-by-step guide through the process and an overview of the information you will need to input to have valid metadata to accompany the datasets you submit to the JCDP Portal.


JCDP Data Submission Guidance (version 1, June 2022)

This document is a step-by-step guide through the data submission process for the JCDP Data Portal. It provides details of how to register on the system, prepare and screen data and then submit and manage data on the Data Portal.


JCDP Data Collection Guidance (version 1, June 2022)

This guidance supports collection of data in a way that fits the JCDP data standard. There is no requirement for data collectors to use this guidance, but it has been made available for use as required.


JCDP Data Access Guidance (version 1, January 2024)

This guidance provides detailed instruction to viewing and downloading data held in the JCDP Data Portal and Metadata Catalogue. This document should be used in conjunction with the Data Provision, Access and Use Guidance.


JCDP project development funding

The JCDP was funded by DEFRA through the Healthy and Biologically Diverse Seabed Evidence Group (HBDSEG) and was project managed by JNCC. The long-term governance of the JCDP platform will be taken on by the newly formed ICES Working Group on the Joint Cetacean Data Programme (WGJCDP).

These resources may not be fully accessible for all users. If you need a copy in a different or more accessible format, please contact

Resource type Publication

Topic category Environment

Reference date 2024·04·01

The Joint Cetacean Data Programme is a collaborative project led by JNCC, working towards an aspiration to deliver a growing resource of collated cetacean distribution data. It is funded by Defra through the Healthy and Biologically Diverse Seabed Evidence Group (HBDSEG).

Responsible organisation
Communications, JNCC publisher

Limitations on public access No limitations

Use constraints Available under the Open Government Licence 3.0

Metadata date 2024·05·01

Metadata point of contact
Communications, JNCC

Back to top