Report of the Working Group on Marine Habitat Mapping (WGMHM) 3–7 May 2010

Marine habitat mapping progresses at a good pace within the ICES region of Europe with a number of international programs to support it. The main two drivers are the extension of Natura 2000 to larger marine areas and the Marine Strategy FrameworkDirective (MSFD), the latter calling for seabed mapping in the development of two of its indicators of good environment status. Of notable importance is the advent of the Interreg IVa Charm 3 project in the Channel, the Interreg IVb Mesh-Atlantic project under “Atlantic Area” (the latter planning to extend former Mesh’s results to southwestern Europe) and also the various DG/MARE Emodnet preparatory actions which urge many European marine mapping actors to get together and produce maps and datasets of our seas (among them the broad scale habitat map underway in the EuSeaMap project). Whereas such large marine areas are in scope, too little is seen as to how the community is going to mobilize to tackle these issues. At a time when deep-water studies reveal that deeper seabeds are less monotonous than previously thought and occupied by patchy key habitats, the gap between global maps and very local observation needs to be bridged. In this regard underwater video is the object of promising developments. The “Optimum allocation analysis” tool, with a view to optimize sampling effort, is also of great relevance. (...)
How to cite
International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (2010). Report of the Working Group on Marine Habitat Mapping (WGMHM) 3–7 May 2010. Commission Européenne. Ref. ICES CM 2010/SSGSUE:01. 86p.

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