Stream 5: Crossdisciplinary and open topics
From 'anthropogenically-modified' to a 'natural' state in the North and Baltic Seas? – Scientific challenges for the implementation of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive
- U. Bathmann1, K.-C. Emeis2
- 1 Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Warnemuende. Germany
- 2 Institute of Coastal Research, Helmholtz Centre Geesthacht, Germany
Orals and posters
Germany, as other European member states, is currently striving to implement the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) in its territorial waters of the North and Baltic Seas. The MSFD aims at a good environmental status (GES) by the year 2020, which is based on the assumption of a quasi-natural state of fully functioning ecosystems and resilience to human-induced changes. We know that coastal and shelf systems are highly dynamic and have experienced major changes in external pressures and internal reactions over the last decades. Extant anthropogenic pressures are unlikely to disappear (e.g., eutrophication, shipping, estuarine management, urbanisation), some are likely to fully unfold in the near future (e.g., warming, acidification), and others are only now emerging (offshore energy production, novel pollutants). A major challenge remains to untangle natural and anthropogenic processes. We invite contributions that address extant and novel pressures on GES of marine and coastal environments and ecosystems, that advance detection and attribution of both natural and human impacts on GES, and map the way forward to its unambiguous definition.