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Are the marine data collected in the Baltic fit for purpose?

Published on: Mon, 19/09/2016 - 10:52
Table of Contents
    difficulties with fisheries data, wind profiles, alien species distribution, Marine Protected Areas. Comments invited


    Chlorophyll-a assessment data distribution

    Public bodies in the EU together spend over €1 billion a year collecting data on the marine environment. Most of these are collected for a specific purpose – bathymetry for safe navigation, contaminants for safe bathing – but we are now moving towards a ‘collect for many purposes’ paradigm. The question is whether the right data are being collected.

    The data adequacy reports aim to answer this question. The first data adequacy report for the Baltic reports that

    1. Lack of consistent monitoring of fisheries bycatch makes it difficult to assess trends
    2. Poor Spatial and temporal resolution of Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data make analysis of impact of fisheries on habitats difficult
    3. The temporal changes in phytoplankton abundance may be faster than the frequency of measurement. At least in some areas, the temporal resolution should be increased.
    4. information for assessment of the Marine Protected Areas network coherence according to Article 13 in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive is currently not adequate
    5. High data confidence for eutrophication in less than half of all subsea­basins. Both EMODnet and ICES have data that the other does not but it is more time ­consuming to download EMODnet data – due to the limitations on displayed fields on one page and the ‘basket’ size
    6. There is a lack of offshore wind profile data which is partly due to some sources of data being unavailable to researchers
    7. Information on distribution of alien species is incomplete

     draft data adequacy report  literature survey  panel report (opinion of stakeholders)

    Please include your comments below.


    • Guenter Hoermandinger's picture

      [already emailed but reposted here]

      With hindsight, it probably would have helped to design the checkpoints in such a way that we don't force the contractors to pretend they are a certain user group, and instead to create structures in which the actual user groups have a say. According to the terms of reference, the project had to set up a panel that included a representative of the responsible RSC. So the HELCOM view would have been present in carrying out the tasks; was the connection made to the HELCOM biodiversity assessment?

      • The consultants should circulate it to HELCOM for comments.
      • The Conclusions should provide solutions to help identify what’s needed to close identified gaps.
      • I agree that since we have not settled on a MSFD coherence assessment methodology, they can’t conclude whether or not data are adequate for this purpose. In my mind it will depend on what criteria we end up with. Secondly, HELCOM did conclude in their last biodiversity assessment that their network is not ecological coherent i.e. they were able to reach a conclusion.
      • Table 4.1 – They use substrate and bathymetry for coherence as well as a model of distribution of species and annex I habitats. That is all good but I am left wondering why they do not use EUSEAMAP information since EMODNET is spending a lot of funds on improving mapping of seabed habitats. And EUSEAMAP are delivering a coherent map of seabed habitats… Again such map is clearly missing from Table 4.2…