The RRS James Clark Ross carried out a benthic scientific research voyage around the South Orkney Plateau in February-March 2016. The Expedition, led by the British Antarctic Survey, was in collaboration with the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR) State of the Antarctic Ecosystem (AntEco) research programme, including scientists from 8 CCAMLR members. The main purpose of the voyage was to understand the distribution and composition of the benthic communities associated with different geomorphic features both within and outside the South Orkney Islands Southern Shelf Marine Protected Area. The expedition used a range of scientific sampling gear and video and photographic equipment to investigate species diversity, assemblage composition, abundance and habitat zonation along the shelf break of the South Orkney Islands. The results from these investigations will enable us to ascertain whether there are characteristic indicator species prevalent in each proxy geomorphic habitat. The expedition also aimed to map the locations and distributions of all species found that were identified as VME indicator taxa.