ETC/ICM Report 4/2019: Multiple pressures and their combined effects in Europe's seas

27 Jan 2020

Christiane Katterfeld

This report presents for the first time in Europe an overview of anthropogenic pressures and their combined effects in Europe’s seas. The assessment covers the period of 2011-2016 but also presents how human activities and pressures at sea have changed over a longer time horizon. Practically the entire European marine area is under multiple pressures – such as hazardous substances, fish stock exploitation, climate change, underwater noise, non-indigenous species, seafloor damage, marine litter and nutrient enrichment. Shelf areas and coastal zone are affected by physical disturbance of seabed, eutrophication and non-indigenous species. The highest potential combined effects are found along coastal areas of the North Sea, Southern Baltic Sea, Adriatic and Western Mediterranean. The good news from this assessment is that many of the dangerous trends seem to have reversed. We have shown that the nutrient levels, hazardous substances, northern fish stocks and tuna stocks in the open seas show improvement. However, extensive pressures from several human activities still threaten the marine ecosystem, such as disturbance of seabed, and no trend reversal was seen in this assessment.

Prepared by:

Samuli Korpinen, Marco Nurmi, Leena Laamanen (SYKE), Katja Klančnik, Gašper Zupančič (IWRS), Monika Peterlin, Johnny Reker, Eva Royo Gelabert (EEA), Ciarán Murray, Therese Harvey, Jesper H. Andersen, Emilie Kallenbach (NIVA), Argyro Zenetos (HCMR), Ulf Stein, Katrina Abhold (Ecologic), Leonardo Tunesi, Sabrina Agnesi (ISPRA), GerJan Piet (WUR), Bas Bolman (Deltares)

EEA project manager: Monika Peterlin
Editor: Samuli Korpinen (SYKE)
Coordination: Christiane Katterfeld (UFZ)
Language Check: Shane Hume (CENIA)
Layout: F&U confirm, Leipzig.

Published by: ETC/ICM, January 2020, 164 pp.