In 2021, the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) chose EMODnet Chemistry as the web-based platform to manage Baltic Sea data on beach litter for the ‘State of the Baltic Sea’ holistic assessment report (HOLAS) purposes. Since then EMODnet Chemistry has ingested, harmonised and validated data that had been collected from 2016 to 2021 on 141 beaches in 9 countries.
Plastic pollution is a pressing global issue that endangers marine ecosystems, human well-being and animal welfare. Only 9 percent of plastic is recycled; by 2025, we could be dealing with up to 250 tonnes of mismanaged waste; every year the world uses up to 5 trillion plastic bags; about 10 million tonnes of plastic enters our oceans each year.
Collaboration between EMODnet Biology, EMODnet Seabed Habitats and OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System) has facilitated richer dataset publication and ensured the greatest volume of high-quality species and habitat data are available for reporting, assessments and informed decision making.
Outcomes: Authors were able to propose methods for assessing representativity across European MPA's, suggesting the use of biozones and benthic habitats within EUSeaMap as a primary data source. Moreover, assessment habitat classes (revised broad habitats) are proposed based on the crosswalk of MSFD broad habitat types with respect to EMODnet Folk 5 substrate and seabed biological zone classes
Outcomes: Users were able to apply a demonstrator tool able to map the Risks of Cumulative Effects (RCE) of different pressures, using benthic habitats within France as an example.
How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: Coverage of benthic habitats was sourced for the entire French Exclusive Economic Zone.
Who used it:
IFREMER - French research institute for the exploration of the sea
Outcomes: The ETC/ICM found Aichi target 11 was met for all European MPAs protecting infralittoral regions, mostly met for MPAs protecting circalittoral and bathyal regions, but were completely missed for MPas protecting abyssal zones.
How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: Provided the only source of evidence for Distribution of broad habitats and biozone distribution at pan European scale.
Who used it:
Outcomes: Authors were able to create predictive mapping relating to the supporting seabed habitats for inshore wintering waterfowl (IWW) in Scotland. The results identified the location and extent of some prey species and habitats that support the inshore wintering waterfowl, and these will, in turn, inform the management of proposed marine Special Protection Areas (pSPA).
Outcomes: Successfully quantifying the overall condition of European seas, authors were able to conceptualise indicator-based spatial tools to apply ecosystem-based approaches to human activities and provide practical solutions to marine governance. The report is considered a contribution to the MSFD Article 20.3 reporting and provides material which can be used to the 8th Environment Action Plan.
How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: Contained habitat data at the resolution and coverage required.
Users identified the main areas where disturbance from bottom-contact fishing was predicted to cause the most significant impact to benthic marine habitats. This work fed directly into the OSPAR Intermediate Assessment (2017) with future implications towards the Marine Strategy Framework Directive assessments.