Benthos habitat quality assessment for the North Sea: joint GES assessments require a coordinated monitoring

Gert Van Hoey, Marco Francisco, Julia Wischnewski, Steven Degraer, Kristian Hostens

    Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan congresC3: Congres - Meeting abstractpeer review


    The Marine Strategy Framework Directive aims at joint assessments of the good environmental status (GES) of our seas. Since monitoring programs and indicators are performed and developed on a national scale, it is a key challenge to maximize the compatibility between the separate national MSFD assessments, requiring harmonization and inter-calibration. Such a common assessment framework is being drafted for the benthic habitat within the EU-project ‘Joint Monitoring Program for the North Sea and Celtic Sea’. The existence of a wide variety of benthic indicators, which need to be inter-calibrated for assessment purpose, should not hamper the harmonization of the monitoring. Analysis of a compiled North Sea benthos dataset showed that the highest confidence, i.e. the ability to detect changes, can be reached when collecting habitat stratified species-abundance data by means of harmonized protocols, with the effort per stratum related to the size of the stratum and the variance in benthic characteristics per stratum. Such a data collection design can be cost-effectively implemented when ongoing monitoring at the national scale becomes incorporated into joint/coordinated monitoring at EU level. However, ongoing monitoring often has a long tradition, which may lead to institutional and/or country specific reluctance (skills, expertise, technology) to deviate from business as usual. Nevertheless, the implementation of a North Sea wide minimum’ benthic sampling design, which complement the national driven monitoring schemes, will inevitably lead to better integrated monitoring and allow for a thorough joint GES assessment.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 23-sep.-2015
    EvenementICES Annual Science Conference 2015 - Kopenhagen, Denemarken
    Duur: 21-sep.-201525-sep.-2015


    CongresICES Annual Science Conference 2015
    Internet adres


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