Main research question/goal
This research project aims to develop a joint, integrated method to meet the requirements of the monitoring in function of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). ILVO and 14 other institutes, together representing seven countries, cooperate in developing a joint monitoring program for the North Sea and Celtic Sea region. The main precondition is that the method fulfills the monitoring requirements of the MSFD and related environmental directives. Simultaneously, the collected data should support a (sustainable) management of the human activities in the mentioned marine regions. All of the institutions involved are responsible for their national monitoring programmes.Research approach
This project is viewed as a pilot project. Transfer and application to other European regions can take place in a later phase. The project partners inventory and communicate their respective national marine monitoring efforts. Synergies in the existing marine monitoring programmes and cost-effective ways of maximising the efficiency of existing resources (e.g. multiple uses for existing monitoring platforms, ship time, etc.) are explored. We expect to develop a negotiated integration of the marine monitoring efforts, including the formulation of joint monitoring strategies, a proposal for a joint monitoring programme and the development of decision-making tools (e.g. statistical tools for testing sampling design and tools for selecting alternative sampling strategies).Relevance/Valorisation
This international, joint approach optimises the effectiveness of the monitoring resources and output by combining different disciplines and programmes. The overall cost for monitoring for the implementation of the MSFD can decrease. The ecosystem-oriented method of the MSFD monitoring delivers clear and relevant data, which make it possible to have a comparable, correct and more harmonised evaluation of the environmental status of the North Sea and Celtic Sea region. The results are transferrable to other European regions.