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DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status

DEVOTES - new EU funded FP7 project

More than 250 scientists, from 23 research centres of 12 European Union countries, as well as Ukraine, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and USA, will work in DEVOTES to improve the understanding of anthropogenic and climactic impacts on marine biodiversity. DEVOTES is a four year project, which has a total budget of €12 million

The goal of the project is to analyze the existing Marine Strategy Framework directive (MSFD) indicators, develop new ones and assess biodiversity in a harmonized way within the four European Regional Seas (Baltic Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea).

Member States are required to define the indicators that determine ‘good environmental status’, together with the actions to be implemented in order to achieve this objective by 2020. Member States must also implement coordinated monitoring programmes, to periodically assess

the marine environmental status, and to evaluate the actions taken.

DEVOTES will develop and validate innovative tools to incorporate ecological theory and integrated environmental assessment. These will include remote sensing, modelling, and genomics. The focus is to advance the understanding of the changes in ecosystems and biodiversity. The information and products generated during the DEVOTES project, will be used to develop measures which contribute to the sustainable use of seas and marine resources. See www.devotes-project.eu for more details.

Full project title: DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status.

Acronym: DEVOTES

Project number: Grant agreement no. 308392

Duration: 1st November 2012 to 31st October 2016

Project leader: AZTI-Tecnalia

Project webpage: http://www.devotes-project.eu

Main funder: European Commission (FP7)

Contact staff at oceanDTM: Christian Wilson

Project overview

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) requires Member States to take measures to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) in the marine environment, by 2020. DEVOTES will develop tools to understand and describe biodiversity status at an European scale, including as many components of the ecosystem as possible, providing the scientific knowledge, upon which appropriate monitoring and management strategies can be designed and made available for managers.

Project objectives

1. The project aim at improve our understanding of the impact of human activities (cumulative, synergistic, antagonistic) and climate change on marine biodiversity;

2. Test the relevant indicators proposed by EC and currently being compiled by the Regional Sea Conventions, and develop new, innovative ones;

3. Develop, test and validate innovative integrative modelling (e.g. statistical, conceptual) and monitoring tools;

4. Implement cost-effective indicators, monitoring and assessment strategies;

5. Propose and disseminate strategies and measures for ecosystems’ adaptive management.

Project partners

To achieve these objectives, DEVOTES Consortium includes a variety of bodies (23 partners), including 4 SMEs and 3 non-EU partners (Turkey, Ukraine & Saudi Arabia). In addition, there are 2 USA observers.

PARTNER role: oceanDTM is an SME involved in marine science consultancy and is co-leading Work Package 4.

Description of the role: Specialising in marine geology and geophysics oceanDTM supplies software, hardware and support services to many marine research organisations. Using the latest acoustic survey equipment oceanDTM has expertise in utilising research vessels to collect, process and analyse vast quantities of acoustic information to support habitat analysis and informing biological sampling and survey design.  This expertise will be used in DEVOTES to address the issues of how best to use remote sensing information such as multibeam echosoundings for MSFD assessment and monitoring.