MSFD-Support Research on OSPAR Ecological Quality Objectives

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Resource or Project Abstract

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD, 2008/56/EC) aims to ensure that Europe?s seas achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) by 2020. This is a complex undertaking, but it is now widely recognized that a robust template already exists in the OSPAR Convention. The project undertook a systematic evaluation of operational OSPAR EcoQOs, with regard to their relevance and operability in implementing the MSFD in Irish waters. It was found that many EcoQOs were quite closely linked to components of the MSFD.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Samuel Shepard
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology

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Data, Files, Information Objects Related To This Project Resource

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Project Report Optimised For Online Viewing    STRIVE_105_reid_MSFD_prn.web.pdf  (1.77 Mb)
Project Report Optimised For Online Viewing    STRIVE_105_reid_MSFD_web.pdf.pdf  (1.03 Mb)

Suggested Citation Information

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Author(s)Shepard, S.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationMSFD-Support Research on OSPAR Ecological Quality Objectives
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL
Unique Identifier573159e1-7f61-11e2-af90-005056ae0019
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2024-07-14

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Shepard, S.   "MSFD-Support Research on OSPAR Ecological Quality Objectives". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland (Last Accessed: 2024-07-14)


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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL
Resource KeywordsMSFD, Ecosystem Approach to Management, OSPAR EcoQO, Ecosystem Indicators
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2011-W-DS-6
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeWater Quality
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Limitations on the use of this ResourceThe reliability, quality and completeness of data gained through SAFER-Data is intended to be used in an education or research context. These data are not guaranteed for use in operational or decision-making settings. The EPA and SAFER-Data requests an acknowledgement (in publications, conference papers, etc) from those who use data/information received with SAFER-Data. This acknowledgement should state the original creators of the data/information. An automated citation is provided below. It is not ethical to publish data/information without proper attribution or co-authorship. The data/information are the intellectual property of the collecting investigator(s). The data/information may be freely downloaded and used by all who respect the restrictions and requirements in the previous paragraphs.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 2
Project Start Date Wednesday 12th January 2011 (12-01-2011)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Wednesday 12th January 2011 (12-01-2011)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Saturday 1st September 2012 (01-09-2012)
Published on SAFERMonday 25th February 2013 (25-02-2013)
Date of Last EditFriday 5th July 2013 at 16:23:13 (05-07-2013)
Datasets or Files Updated On Friday 5th July 2013 at 16:23:13 (05-07-2013)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
The project addressed the 'Celtic Seas' Subregion of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive. This subregion includes all of Irish territorial seas as well as areas of UK and French waters.

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
This project was funded to investigate the status of ecosystem monitoring in the Irish territorial seas. The main focus was to assess progress towards implementation of ecosystem indicators serving the reporting requirements of the EU MSFD.
Supplementary Information
The project does not plan to upload datasets to the EPA website as the project did not generate new data but used existing data obtained from the EPA, NPWS, DECLG, Marine Institute and OSPAR. Numerical data used in Objective 4 are open access and available at All reports reviewed in the project are cited in the reference list and freely available.

We are very grateful to the Steering Committee for their strong support during the project

The project used the R statistical software:


1. Reference tables showing potential links between OSPAR EcoQO indicators, the MSFD and other EU legal instruments and available datasets. 2. Demonstration of a protocol for rapid evaluation of ecosystem indicators for implementation under the MSFD. 3. Preliminary evaluation of OSPAR EcoQO indicators for interpretation and implementation in irish waters. 4. A case study full MSFD subregion scale indicator development: the Proportion of large fish.
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