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Using remote sensing as a support to the implementation of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive in SW Portugal
Created: 2017-05-04 10:37:53.262 by: Generation Service
The exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of coastal countries are coming under increasing pressure from various economic sectors such as fishing, aquaculture, shipping and energy production. In Europe, there is a policy to expand the maritime economic sector without damaging the environment by ensuring that these activities comply with legally binding Directives, such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). However, monitoring an extensive maritime area is a logistical and economic challenge. Remote sensing is considered one of the most cost effective, methods for providing the spatial and temporal environmental data that will be necessary for the effective implementation of the MSFD. However, there is still a concern about the uncertainties associated with remote sensed products. This study has tested how a specific satellite product can contribute to the monitoring of a MSFD Descriptor for \"good environmental status\" (GES). The results show that the quality of the remote sensing product Algal Pigment Index 1 (API 1) from the MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) sensor of the European Space Agency for ocean colour products can be effectively validated with in situ data from three stations off the SW Iberian Peninsula. The validation results show good agreement between the MERIS API 1 and the in situ data for the two more offshore stations, with a higher coefficient of determination (R-2) of 0.79, and with lower uncertainties for the average relative percentage difference (RPD) of 24.6% and 27.9% and a root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.40 and 0.38 for Stations B and C, respectively. Near to the coast, Station A has the lowest R-2 of 0.63 and the highest uncertainties with an RPD of 112.9% and a RMSE of 1.00. It is also the station most affected by adjacency effects from the land: when the Improved Contrast between Ocean and Land processor (ICOL) is applied the R-2 increases to 0.77 and there is a 30% reduction in the uncertainties estimated by RPD. The MERIS API 1 product decreases from inshore to offshore, with higher values occurring mainly between early spring and the end of the summer, and with lower values during winter. By using the satellite images for API 1, it is possible to detect and track the development of algal blooms in coastal and marine waters, demonstrating the usefulness of remote sensing for supporting the implementation of the MSFD with respect to Descriptor 5: Eutrophication. It is probable that remote sensing will also prove to be useful for monitoring other Descriptors of the MSFD. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.
Organizations: European Space Agency
Created: 2017-05-04 09:18:12.792 by: Generation Service
Domains: broadcasting events
Assessment of the environmental status of the coastal and marine aquatic environment in Europe: A plea for adaptive management
Created: 2017-05-04 10:23:58.893 by: Generation Service
Policymakers and managers have a very different philosophy and approach to achieving healthy coastal and marine ecosystems than scientists. In this paper we discuss the evolution of the assessment of the chemical status in the aquatic environment and the growing rift between the political intention (precautionary principle) and scientific developments (adaptive and evidence-based management) in the context of the pitfalls and practicalities confronting the current Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). The conclusion is that policymakers and water managers should move with the times and take on board new techniques that scientists are using to assess chemical status and apply new scientific developments in assessment studies of the chemical status. These new techniques, such as bioassays, are cheaper than the classic approach of checking whether concentrations of certain individual priority compounds comply with permissible thresholds. Additionally, they give more insight into the real impacts of chemical compounds. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Created: 2017-05-04 09:20:27.969 by: Generation Service
The acoustic impact of ships has gained growing attention during the last few years. The Europe-an Union within the MSFD and associated TG Noise has assigned the anthropogenic noise from shipping as one of the contributors to a downgrading of the environmental status. The assessment and the corresponding mitigation measures would have to be proposed by 2016 and put in force by 2020. Therefore, it is vitally important for the ship industry and regulatory bodies to have available measurement procedures enabling the correct estimation of underwater noise radiated by vessels. Some international standard bodies such as ANSI and ISO have already developed and are still developing procedures for civil applications to quantify the underwater noise emission of ships. However, there are aspects of these procedures that are not yet consolidated from a technical point of view like the uncertainty associated to the procedure, and topics that are not yet addressed, like measurements in shallow waters. In this regard, the AQUO project, in the scope of the FP7 Europe-an Research Framework, set as one of its targets the development of a new European standard for underwater noise measurements adapted to both, shallow and deep waters with a special emphasis on the assessment of the uncertainties. This paper is a follow-up to the one previously written by TSI identifying the sources of uncertainties of the current measurement procedures. It will firstly present the measurement procedure resulting from the research done in the AQUO project. Thanks to the collaboration agreement signed by BV and TSI, this procedure has been largely adopted by Bureau Veritas in its new rule note (NR 614) titled Underwater Radiated Noise. Finally, the paper will also present the outcomes of the theoretical and experimental studies of its associated sources of deviation trying to provide realistic values for the uncertainty and repeatability of the measurement procedure. Due to its impact on marine life, the abatement of the Underwater Radiated Noise by ships has become the most out-standing novelty and difficult challenge that the Shipbuilding industry has ever faced. Therefore, the industry is trying to provide new solutions in order to comply with the new directives and requirements having been recently developed and promoted by the EU, Marine Institutions and the scientific community.
Created: 2017-05-04 09:53:37.281 by: Generation Service
Environmental regulatory edicts within the EU, such as the regulatory framework for chemicals REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals), the Water Framework Directive (WFD), and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) focus mainly on toxicity assessment of individual chemicals although the effect of contaminant mixtures is a matter of increasing concern. This discussion paper provides an overview of the field of combined effects in aquatic ecotoxicology and addresses some of the major challenges related to assessment of combined effects in connection with environmental risk assessment (ERA) and regulation. Potentials and obstacles related to different experimental, modelling and predictive ERA approaches are described. On-going ERA guideline and manual developments in Europe aiming to incorporate combined effects of contaminants, the use of different experimental approaches for providing combined effect data, the involvement of biomarkers to characterize Mode of Action and toxicity pathways and efforts to identify relevant risk scenarios related to combined effects are discussed. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Organizations: European Union
An environmental assessment of risk in achieving good environmental status to support regional prioritisation of management in Europe
Created: 2017-05-04 09:56:24.867 by: Generation Service
The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) aims to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) in Europe's Seas. The requirement for regional sea authorities to identify and prioritise issues for management has meant that standardized methods to assess the current level of departure from GES are needed. The methodology presented here provides a means by which existing information describing the status of ecosystem components of a regional sea can be used to determine the effort required to achieve GES. A risk assessment framework was developed to score departure from GES for 10 out of the 11 GES descriptors, based on proposed definitions of 'good' status, and current knowledge of environmental status in each of the four regional seas (North-East Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea, Baltic Sea and Black Sea). This provides an approach for regional evaluation of environmental issues and national prioritisation of conservation objectives. Departure from GES definitions is described as 'high', 'moderate' or low' and the implications for management options and national policy decisions are discussed. While the criteria used in this study were developed specifically for application toward MSFD objectives, with modification the approach could be applied to evaluate other high-level social, economic or environmental objectives. Crown Copyright (C) 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Phytoplankton composition indicators for the assessment of eutrophication in marine waters: Present state and challenges within the European directives
Created: 2017-05-04 11:04:37.03 by: Generation Service
Several legislations worldwide require assessing the health status of marine ecosystems. In Europe, the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) demand the evaluation of the status with the overall objective of achieving at least \"Good Status\", by 2015 and 2020, respectively. For this purpose, Member States are required to evaluate different biological, physico-chemical and hydro-morphological quality elements (WFD), or qualitative descriptors (MSFD). The assessments of both, the phytoplankton element and the eutrophication descriptor should include several attributes, namely phytoplankton biomass, composition, abundance and blooms. However, few composition-based indicators have been proposed. Principally, phytoplankton still relies on chlorophyll-a concentration measurements, mainly due to the high cost of collecting information on this element and the difficulties establishing significant pressure-impact relationships. This investigation describes the difficulties in the development of a phytoplankton community composition indicator, the state of the art and the main challenges for the future. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Domains: marine biology
Created: 2017-05-04 11:10:56.909 by: Generation Service
The ecologically and socio-economically important marine ecosystems of Europe are facing severe threats from a variety of human impacts. To mitigate and potentially reverse some of these impacts, the European Union (EU) has mandated the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) in order to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) in EU waters by 2020. The primary initiative for achieving GES is the implementation of coherent networks of marine protected areas (MPAs). Marine reserves are an important type of MPA in which no extraction is allowed, but their usefulness depends upon a number of ecological, management, and political factors. This paper provides a synthesis of the ecological effects of existing European marine reserves and the factors (social and ecological) underlying their effectiveness. Results show that existing European marine reserves foster significant positive increases in key biological variables (density, biomass, body size, and species richness) compared with areas receiving less protection, a pattern mirrored by marine reserves around the globe. For marine reserves to achieve their ecological and social goals, however, they must be designed, managed, and enforced properly. In addition, identifying whether protected areas are ecologically connected as a network, as well as where new MPAs should be established according to the MSFD, requires information on the connectivity of populations across large areas. The adoption of the MSFD demonstrates willingness to achieve the long-term protection of Europe's marine ecosystems, but whether the political will (local, regional, and continent wide) is strong enough to see its mandates through remains to be seen. Although the MSFD does not explicitly require marine reserves, an important step towards the protection of Europe's marine ecosystems is the establishment of marine reserves within wider-use MPAs as connected networks across large spatial scales. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Organizations: European Union
Created: 2017-05-04 10:06:56.901 by: Generation Service
The current state-of-the-art of FerryBox systems are presented, and their usage as part of European observing systems such as Alg@line in the Baltic Sea or the coastal observatory COSYNA in the North Sea is discussed as well as data management systems. An overview of diverse FenyBox measurement activities is provided, covering the wide and varied potential for utilizing FerryBox data. One innovative technical component is the application of newly developed sensors suitable for FerryBox systems that focus on biogeochemical processes. This component could fill currently existing gaps of robust biogeochemical observations in the oceans and may create, together with the high spatial and temporal resolution of FerryBox systems, the possibility for new insights into physical and biogeochemical processes that were impossible to study before. Such new insights could contribute to the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and include observations of the coastal carbonate system and its interaction with climate change or eutrophication and productivity. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Created: 2017-05-04 09:48:26.899 by: Generation Service
Marine environment protection in Europe faces a number of challenges. One is the coordination of relevant sectoral policies - such as agricultural and fisheries policies with regard to marine protection objectives. The question in the following is on how marine protection issues can be more closely integrated in sectoral policies under the conditions prevailing at present. In particular the strength and weaknesses of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) as the key instrument for marine environment protection in Europe are analyzed in this context. In particular, the MSFD does not adequately address all sectors and policies which are relevant to marine environment protection. One possible means of giving the MSFD greater influences on other policies of relevance to marine waters is to integrate the objectives established under the MSFD in the European maritime policy. The aim should be to require the further development of sectoral policies to take unrestricted account of the objectives of the MSFD implementation process. But also other instruments of marine policy such as maritime spatial planning and marine protected areas are crucial to advance the protection of European seas. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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