European Broad-Scale Seabed Habitat Maps Support Implementation of Ecosystem-Based Management

Type Article
Date 2018
Language English
Author(s) Andersen Jesper H.1, Manca Eleonora2, Agnesi Sabrina3, Al-Hamdani Zyad4, Lillis Helen2, Mo Giulia3, Populus Jacques5, Reker Johnny6, Tunesi Leonardo3, Vasquez MickaëlORCID5
Affiliation(s) 1 : NIVA Denmark Water Research, Copenhagen, Denmark
2 : Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), Peterborough, UK
3 : Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale (ISPRA), Rome, Italy
4 : Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Copenhagen, Denmark
5 : Institut français de recherche pour l’exploitation de la mer (Ifremer), Brest, France
6 : European Environment Agency (EEA), Copenhagen, Denmark
Source Open Journal of Ecology (2162-1985) (Scientific Research Publishing, Inc,), 2018 , Vol. 08 , N. 02 , P. 86-103
DOI 10.4236/oje.2018.82007
Keyword(s) Benthic Habitats, Mapping, Ecosystem-Based Management, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Marine Protected Areas (MPA)

We have analyzed the development of “Broad-Scale Seabed Habitat Maps” (BSHM) and their potential use in a European context with regard to the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) implementation, MPA designation and network assessment as well as other applications of BSHMs. The analyses are anchored in BSHMs developed by a series of interlinked EU projects (e.g. UKSeaMap, BALANCE, MESH, Mesh Atlantic, EUSeaMap 2012, and EUSeaMap 2016) and all maps are based on environmental data. Some EU Member States have used BSHMs as part of their MSFD Initial Assessments published in 2012. However, we conclude that BSHMs are a prerequisite for another key MSFD activity, i.e. mapping of potentially cumulative effects of multiple human stressors. Further, BSHMs seem to play a growing role with regard to evidence-based assessments of MPAs. With the upcoming second round of MSFD Initial Assessments due in 2018, including assessment of potentially cumulative pressures, there seems to be an increasing need for more BSHMs nationally, regionally and on a European scale.

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Andersen Jesper H., Manca Eleonora, Agnesi Sabrina, Al-Hamdani Zyad, Lillis Helen, Mo Giulia, Populus Jacques, Reker Johnny, Tunesi Leonardo, Vasquez Mickaël (2018). European Broad-Scale Seabed Habitat Maps Support Implementation of Ecosystem-Based Management. Open Journal of Ecology, 08(02), 86-103. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :