Implementation of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive: A methodological approach for the assessment of environmental status, from the Basque Country (Bay of Biscay)

Ángel Borja*, Ibon Galparsoro, Xabier Irigoien, Ane Iriondo, Iratxe Menchaca, Iñigo Muxika, Marta Pascual, Iñaki Quincoces, Marta Revilla, J. Germán Rodríguez, Marina Santurtún, Oihana Solaun, Ainhize Uriarte, Victoriano Valencia, Izaskun Zorita

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations

Abstract

The implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) is directing European marine research towards the coordinated and integrated assessment of sea environmental status, following the ecosystem-based approach. The MSFD uses a set of 11 descriptors which, together, summarise the way in which the whole system functions. As such, the European Commission has proposed an extensive set of indicators, to assess environmental status. Hence, taking account of the large amount of data available for the Basque coast (southern Bay of Biscay), together with a recent proposal for assessment within the MSFD, an integrated environmental status assessment approach is developed (for the first time) in this contribution. The strengths and weaknesses of the method, combined with proposals from the MSFD, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)889-904
Number of pages16
JournalMarine pollution bulletin
Volume62
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data for this study were obtained from different projects funded by the Department of Environment, Territorial Planning, Agriculture and Fisheries of the Basque Government . This work was (partially) funded by the European Union , under the 7th Framework Programme, through the projects “Marine Ecosystem Evolution in a Changing Environment” (MEECE, No. 212085 ) and “Monitoring and Evaluation of Spatially Managed Areas” (MESMA, No. 226661 , www.mesma.org ). One of the authors (M. Pascual) was supported by a grant from the Technological Centres Foundation of the Basque Country. We wish to thank also Professor Michael Collins (School of Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton, UK), Javier Franco Guillem Chust and Stefani Novoa (AZTI-Tecnalia) for kindly advising us on some details of this contribution. This is paper number 531 from the Marine Research Division (AZTI-Tecnalia).

Keywords

  • Environmental status
  • Implementation
  • Marine Strategy Framework Directive
  • Methodological approach
  • Quality assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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