Report 525
Marine Strategy Framework Directive Indicators for UK Kelp Habitats
(2014)
Burrows, M.T., Smale, D., O’Connor, N., Van Rein, H. & Moore, P.
JNCC commissioned a consortium of the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), the Marine Biological Association (MBA), Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and the University of Aberystwyth (UAber) to deliver an indicator that demonstrates the response to the main pressures acting on UK kelp habitats for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
 

Introduction

 
The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) (Directive 2008/56/EC) was formally adopted by the European Union in July 2008. It forms the environmental pillar of the EU’s Integrated European Maritime Policy and compliments the economic and social aspects of this policy. The MSFD outlines a legislative framework for an ecosystem-based approach to the management of human activities that supports the sustainable use of marine goods and services. The overarching goal of the Directive is to achieve ‘Good Environmental Status’ (GES) by 2020 across Europe’s marine environment. 
 
The purpose of this project was to deliver indicators that demonstrate the response to the main pressures acting on UK kelp habitats for the MSFD. This was done by reviewing the current state of knowledge of the ecology of kelp in UK waters (Section 1), and subsequently using existing extensive data on distributions to produce quantitative models of the expected condition of populations of kelp species around the UK (Section 2) as a foundation for assessment of GES. Furthermore, a recommended approach to data gathering and outstanding research has been outlined (along with any anticipated costs) in order to enable the proposed indicator(s) to be made operational (Section 3).
 
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ISSN 0963 8091
 
Please cite as: Burrows, M.T., Smale, D., O’Connor, N., Van Rein, H. & Moore, P., (2014), Marine Strategy Framework Directive Indicators for UK Kelp Habitats, JNCC Report 525, ISSN 0963 8091