ETC/ICM Report 1/2019: Development of a pilot 'European seafloor integrity account' assessing fishing pressure on seabed habitats

03 May 2019

Nils Hettich

The aim of this study is to review the existing approaches to assess the impact of fishing-induced physical disturbance on seabed habitats and uses the outcome of such a review to develop a concept and method to calculate a pilot ‘European seafloor integrity account’ (SIA), which is linked to the assessment of marine ecosystem services. The review is almost entirely based on the process led by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) to provide guidance on the assessment of the state of seabed habitats, including the development and evaluation of indicators for fishing-induced pressure and its impact on these habitats. The pilot SIA has been calculated in the North Sea as ‘proof of concept’. It is linked to the assessment of marine ecosystem services and aims at supporting Member States and the EU to achieve the 2020 goals on the Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES) and the development of accounting systems under Action 5 of Target 2 of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 and, in particular, their post-2020 follow-up. 

Prepared by:

Lead authors: Gerjan Piet (ETC/ICM, WMR), Eva Royo Gelabert (EEA) 
EEA project manager: Eva Royo Gelabert (EEA) 
Contributors: Jacco van Rijssel (WMR), Niels Hintzen (WMR) 
Acknowledgements: Jan-Erik Petersen (EEA), Steven King (UNEP-WCMC) 
Coordination: Claudia Neitzel (ETC/ICM, UFZ) 
English check: Shane Hume (ETC/ICM, CENIA) 
Layout: F&U confirm, Leipzig 

Published by: ETC/ICM, May 2019, 70 pp.