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Summarising the extents of MSFD benthic broad habitats per sub-region and country

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Marine areas assessed for reporting on MSFD Descriptor 6 (Seafloor integrity). ©EMODnet

To assist EU Member States with reporting under MSFD, EMODnet Seabed Habitats have recently produced a summary of the extent of each MSFD Benthic Broad Habitat Type per country and sub-region. These summaries are contained within an Excel spreadsheet and are freely available to download from our Documents and Outreach page

In order to quantify the impacts of anthropogenic activity on benthic habitats, data on the areal extent of benthic habitats and the human pressures that impact them are required. These area calculations are pivotal to the reporting of seafloor integrity under MSFD and the impact on the seafloor from bottom-contacting fishing measured by OSPAR’s BH3 indicator.

The Marine Spatial Planning Directive (2014/89/EU) has been adopted by Member States to manage spatial uses and conflicts in marine areas. As the pressure on ocean habitats and ecosystems increases, the need for effective monitoring with transparent, quantitative results are required to balance development with conservation measures. EUSeaMap and its associated spatial statistics on broad habitat type area are freely available from EMODnet Seabed Habitats and can be used for a variety of assessments that require evidence-based decision making.

Summary of extents of MSFD benthic broad habitats per sub-region based on EUSeaMap 2021
(707 kB - XLS)