Workshop on Physical Damage Indicator development for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

June 16, 2014 by No Comments | Category Marine Planning, Marine Renewables

Marine Biological Association, Plymouth

26-27 February 2014


AFBI, MBA, Heriott-Watt University, Bioconstruct, University of Liverpool, JNCC, DEFRA, Natural England, BGS, BRGM, SEPA, CEFAS, MSS, Plymouth University, BFN, SNH, Natural Resources Wales, IECS, Museum National D’Histoire Naturelle, Cornwall IFCA, and DOENI were all represented.


Mike Robertson attended a workshop intended to further develop a benthic indicator designed to assess the physical damage to and the condition of benthic habitats under Descriptor 6 (Seabed Integrity)  of the MSFD. See EU Directive 2008/56/EC and Commission Decision of 1 September 2010 on criteria and methodological standards on good environmental status of marine waters; 2010/477/EU. (http//

The MSFD requires an analysis of the state of habitats and the intensity and distribution of anthropogenic pressures impacting upon them. Indicators should therefore aim to address those pressures which cause physical damage to the seafloor in the OSPAR area and should also assess both predominant and special habitat types.

Last year the UK produced part one of the UK Marine Strategy containing information on indicators for each of the GES indicators, one of which is the Physical Habitat Damage Indicator. This indicator is mainly focused on the delivery of Descriptor 6 and will review physical damage to benthic habitats by assessing the vulnerability of these habitats to various anthropogenic pressures. The workshop therefore mainly focused on  three key approaches, namely a Vulnerability Assessment (led by the UK), the Bioconsult Concept Model (Germany) and Seafloor Integrity (UK) in undertaking sensitivity analysis whilst attempting to link pressures to impacts on seabed species and habitats.

See papers by:

Bolam, S. G., et al, 2014. J. Sea Res., 85; pp 162-177

Coggan R and Bolam S., 2012. CEFAS contract report ME5301, Deliverable 4.3


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