Advance knowledge base to support assessment of GES
The objective of work package 3 is to increase the knowledge base and guidance for harmonized use of descriptors, criteria and indicators in defining good environmental status (GES).
The activities of work package 3 started by analyzing the latest guidance on criteria, indicators and methodologies in defining and assessing good environmental status provided by the European Commission and regional organizations such as HELCOM, OSPAR and ICES. Analyses of methodologies will be conducted for the following descriptors: non-indigenous species, food webs, marine litter and underwater noise.
The indicators will be approached from the perspectives of 1) abundances and state characterization of non-indigenous species, defining impacts and risk areas (including hot spots) as well as main vectors and pathways of spreading; 2) characteristics of litter in the marine and coastal environment, and impacts of litter on marine life; 3) temporal and spatial distribution of underwater noise (impulsive and continuous sounds) and its impact on marine life; 4) food webs, especially concerning productivity of key species and trophic groups, proportion of selected species at the top of food webs, and abundance/distribution of key trophic groups/species.
Seminars and small-scale pilot studies in selected areas will be carried out to contribute to the capacity building.
Activities in the work package will result in reports summarizing and analyzing the information on methodologies that can be used to further develop the scientific base for GES descriptors, criteria and indicators as well as defining the need for capacity building.