New assessments on state of the marine environment in OSPAR waters

29 June 2017
The OSPAR Commission has just launched a major new assessment of the state of our marine environment and the pressures caused by marine activities.
JNCC has played a key part in helping to assess the biodiversity elements of the report.
The parties to the OSPAR Convention for the Protection and Conservation of the North-East Atlantic produce an overview report every ten years on trends in pressures and impacts and the quality status of the North-East Atlantic and its Regions.  This intermediate report, which will help some countries to report against the Marine Strategy Framework Directive in 2018, is the culmination of a six-year research and development process to both produce and define new indicators of the state of the marine ecosystem.
JNCC helped to develop a suite of marine biodiversity indicators, including:
  • leading the assessment of seabirds and waterbirds across OSPAR regions;
  • jointly developing with Germany an indicator of the extent of physical damage on benthic habitats as a result of fishing, and
  • co-leading the assessment of seals with the Sea Mammal Research Unit.
JNCC’s Marine Ecosystem Assessment and Advice Manager Dr Jane Hawkridge said: “Our scientists have been instrumental in leading and co-leading both the process and the development of a significant number of new biodiversity indicators in this assessment. This has been a huge undertaking but demonstrates how we are working in partnership across Europe to protect biodiversity and ecosystems in our shared marine environment.”  
Biodiversity Indicator Leads
JNCC’s Dr Ian Mitchell and Dr Cristina Herbon celebrate the launch of IA2017, with fellow biodiversity indicator leads, Dr Ailsa Hall (Sea Mammal Research Unit), Dr Chris Lynham (Cefas) and Dr Simon Greenstreet (Marine Scotland Science). Other biodiversity indicator leads are Dr Abigail McQuatters-Gollop (University of Plymouth) and Dr Paul Stebbing (Cefas).