Re-evaluation of Marine Observatories

 

The Action will encompass a re-evaluation of the results of the BIOMARE and MarBEF projects that have resulted in an overview of marine biodiversity observatory sites for Europe (Warwick, Emblow, Féral, Hummel, van Avesaath, Heip, 2002. European Marine Biodiversity Research Sites).

 

The re-evaluation (update) has started with a desktop study to collate all known observatory sites obtained in BIOMARE and MarBEF and assessing to what degree they can meet the criteria selected in the Action, including the naturalness of the sites, representativeness for, and array of, the surrounding habitats, conservation status, available (experimental, accommodation, training) facilities, and commitment expressed by the observatory management.

 

In conjunction with the desktop study a questionnaire will be sent to the partners of the Action and the (former) members of MarBEF and BIOMARE to retrieve an update on the present status of the monitoring activities, available data, and commitment. A core group of partners assembled in the Working Group Observatory Sites (WGOS) will help in the process to compose and evaluate the overviews and the results of the questionnaires.

 

The activity will establish a network of Observatories; with 1) Reference Sites for certain geographical regions with low human impact that can serve as a reference (baseline) for natural evolvement of marine biodiversity, and with 2) a number of related Satellite Sites with a gradient in direct human impacts but that are within the recognised geographic regions related to the reference station(s).

 

The outcome of the evaluation will be presented and discussed in a workshop with the representatives of the proposed long-term observatory sites together with the WGOS to assess a preliminary list of potential Marine Biodiversity Observatory Sites that may constitute EMBOS in the future.