At May the 22nd I had the opportunity to provide insight in the benthos monitoring programme for the Dutch North Sea at the ‘Exchange day Platform Marine Monitoring 2018’). I gave a presentation focussing on the potential differences in results when making choices in monitoring and evaluation methodologies. Besides I could also present and discuss some of the findings for recent developments in the quality status of sea floor habitats of specific areas in the Dutch North Sea. For those who were there, or others that are interested now; you can find the slides of the presentation here (Sorry, they are in Dutch). All presentations are available from the website of ‘Informatiehuis Marien’.
Foto: ©Bert Ooms/WWF
WWF – The Netherlands (WNF) has published a nice report showing the recent trends in species richness in amongst others the Dutch North Sea, Wadden Sea and Delta waters. Ecoauthor also made a modest contribution to the interpretation of findings here.
The entire report:‘Wereld Natuur Fonds. 2017. Living Planet Report. Zoute en zilte natuur in Nederland. WNF, Zeist.’ (written in Dutch) can be found here.
Additional information can be found on the website of WNF (www.wnf.nl).
To evaluate habitat quality, sea floor integrity and ecological functioning of the Dutch North Sea the Benthic Indicator Species Index (BISI) has been developed. The BISI is specifically developed to deliver to the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) reporting, evaluate the effectivity of management measures and provide information for Habitat Directive-habitat evaluations. The BISI compares temporal patterns (absence/presence, or densities) of combinations of specific indicator species with predefined reference levels of these species that represent a good status. BISI can be used at different spatial scales (e.g. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Natura 2000 areas, specific ecotopes and habitats) and additionally provides evidence for possible causes and effects of observed patterns in quality status (developments).
The BISI is developed by Ecoauthor in cooperation with Wageningen Marine Research (WMR) commissioned by the Dutch Ministries of Economic Affairs (EZ) and of Infrastructure and Environment (IenM)).
The BISI is potentially applicable in other regions than the Dutch North Sea as well. At present Ecoauthor is amongst others working on the T2015 evaluation of the Dutch North Sea on basis of BISI and the adjustment of BISI for wider application.
The indicator is presented in:
Wijnhoven, S. & Bos, O.G. (2017). Benthische Indicator Soorten Index (BISI): Ontwikkelingsproces en beschrijving van de Nationale Benthos Indicator Noordzee inclusief protocol voor toepassing. Ecoauthor Report Series 2017-02, Heinkenszand, the Netherlands (in Dutch).
Wijnhoven, S. & Bos, O.G. (2017). Benthic Indicator Species Index (BISI): Development process and description of the National Benthos Indicator North Sea including a protocol for application. Ecoauthor Report Series 2017-02, Heinkenszand, the Netherlands (in English).
With a protocol of application (written in English):
Wijnhoven, S. (2017a). Protocol Benthic Indicator Species Index (BISI). Annex 1 of Wijnhoven & Bos (2017).
And an assessment tool (in English):
Wijnhoven, S. (2017b) Assessment tool ‘Benthic Indicator Species Index (BISI)’ v260917. Excel-file with specification of the indicator for the areas of the Dutch EEZ to be evaluated and application for the situation in 2015 (T0). Appendix 2 of Wijnhoven & Bos (2017).
Last February the 8th, a trinational workshop on joint monitoring, evaluation and knowledge exchange concerning the Doggerbank was held in Hamburg. With several participants from Germany and the UK, Ecoauthor represented the Dutch government. Although monitoring programmes in the three countries are quite different, it is clear that cooperation will have benefits for each of the countries. As a first step, benthic monitoring data will be exchanged, and the various indicators in use will be applied on each others datasets. The tuning of evaluations should lead to a joint evaluation of the international Doggerbank region in the near future. Also joint monitoring activities are foreseen.
Since several months we are developing a Benthos-based Indicator system for the evaluation of the Dutch North Sea for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs (EZ) and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment (I&M). The evaluation tool will specifically be used to report on the quality developments towards the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and evaluation of management regulations (i.e. fisheries restrictions) in Natura 2000 areas and other areas of special interest. The latest newsletter of the Marine Information and Data Centre (Informatiehuis Marien) has some attention for our work: ‘Measuring with benthic macrofauna‘. (The article is in Dutch).
At present Ecoauthor is working on the development of the National Benthos Indicator for evaluation of the Dutch North Sea for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) in cooperation with Wageningen Marine Research. The challenge is to develop a transparant indicator that will be used for various evaluations and reportings (e.g. MSFD, Habitat Directive, evaluation of Nature 2000 management and evaluation of effectivity of taken measures) that can act on the various spatial and temporal scales involved and will be indicative for causes of potentially observed changes as well. Yesterday we had some good discussions and valuable information exchange during an expert workshop as organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (EZ) and the Ministry of Infrastucture and the Environment (I&M) for which I like to thank all participants and the organizers.