Current marine pressures and mechanisms driving changes in marine habitats. Deliverable 1.2, MERCES Project.

D4 Published development or research report or study

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Smith CJ, Dailianis T, Papadopoulou N, Gerovasileiou V, Sevastou K, Grehan A, Billett D , McOwen C, Amaro T, Bakran-Petricioli T, Bekkby T, Bilan M, Boström C, Carriero-Silva M, Carugati L, Cebrian E, Cerrano C, Christie H, Danovaro R, Eronat EGT, Fiorentino D, Fraschetti S, Gagnon K, Gambi C, Hereu B, Kipson S, Kotta J, Linares C, Morato T, Ojaveer H, Orav-Kotta H, Pham CK, Rinde E, Sarà A, Scrimgeour R
Publisher: MERCES project
Publication year: 2017


Human activities and the resultant pressures they place on the marine environment have been
widely demonstrated to contribute to habitat degradation, therefore, their identification and
quantification is an essential step towards any meaningful restoration effort. The overall scope of
MERCES Deliverable 1.2 is to review current knowledge regarding the major marine pressures
placed upon marine ecosystems in EU waters and the mechanisms by which they impact habitats
in order to determine potential restoration pathways. An understanding of their geographical
distribution is critical for any local assessment of degradation, as well as for planning
conservation and restoration actions. This information would ideally be in the form of maps,
which: (a) compile single or multiple activities and pressures over broad scales, integrating and
visualizing available data and allowing direct identification of aggregations as well as gaps and
(b) may be overlaid with habitat maps (or any other map layer containing additional
information), thus combining different data levels and producing new information to be used for
example when implementing EU policies. The deliverable also documents typical example
habitat case studies, the prominent impacts and consequences of activities and pressures towards
the identification of possible restoration or mitigation actions. Finally the deliverable discusses
pressures, assessments, marine spatial planning and blue growth potential.

Activities and pressures are used in a strict sense, where marine activities are undertaken to
satisfy the needs of societal drivers (e.g. aquaculture or tourism) and pressures are considered to
be the mechanism through which an activity has an actual or potential effect on any part of the
ecosystem (e.g. for demersal trawling activity, one pressure would be abrasion of the seabed).
Habitats are addressed using a nested approach from large-scale geological features (e.g. shallow
soft bottoms) to species-characterised habitats (e.g. Posidonia meadows) because of the way
they are referred to in current policy documents which lack standard and precise definitions.

Last updated on 2020-04-06 at 05:32