Presentation on theme: "Marine Strategy Framework Directive Consultation on Good Environmental Status Descriptor 7 – Hydrographical Conditions Dr Alejandro Gallego Marine Scotland."— Presentation transcript:
Marine Strategy Framework Directive Consultation on Good Environmental Status Descriptor 7 – Hydrographical Conditions Dr Alejandro Gallego Marine Scotland Science
Focus of this presentation Quick reminder of D7 Evidence base Proposed GES Characteristics Proposed GES Targets Implications of the proposals EU Coordination Issues and Gaps
D7 – A Reminder Permanent alteration of hydrographical conditions does not adversely affect marine ecosystems. Commission Criteria 7.1 Spatial characterisation of permanent alterations 7.2 Impact of permanent hydrographical changes
Expert opinion indicates there are currently no developments in UK waters large enough to result in the broad scale alterations of hydrographic conditions this Descriptor is intended to address Initial advice developed by Cefas proposed two options Target establishing development thresholds triggering further assessment and monitoring discounted due to confidence in existing regulatory regime SEA, EIA, Habitats, Water Framework Directives and the planning and licensing system are considered enough to ensure GES is achieved Stakeholder workshops and meetings have facilitated wider input throughout the process How the targets were developed and what is the evidence base?
Thames Hub/Boris Island Severn BarrageLarge scale tidal array What scale of project is Descriptor 7 intended to address?
The nature and scale of any permanent changes to the prevailing hydrographical conditions (including but not limited to salinity, temperature, pH and hydrodynamics) resulting from anthropogenic activities (individual and cumulative), having taken into account climatic or long-term cyclical processes in the marine environment, do not lead to significant long term impacts on those biological components considered under Descriptors 1,4, and 6. Proposed GES Characteristics for D7
PROPOSED TARGETS FOR HYDROGRAPHICAL CONDITIONS (Descriptor 7) Proposed GES Target Targets – Criteria 7.1 & 7.2 Spatial characterisation of permanent alterations & Impact of permanent hydrographical changes All developments must comply with the existing regulatory regime and guidance should be followed to ensure that regulatory assessments are undertaken in a way that ensures the full consideration of any potential impacts, including cumulative effects at the most appropriate spatial scales to ensure that GES is not compromised. Proposed Hydrographical Conditions Targets Operational target – approach not directly covering the Commission Criteria/indicator.
What are the implications of the GES targets? Key implications of the proposals: No major implications for industry providing full compliance with existing commitments Small cost for the regulator associated with reviewing existing regulatory regime & updating guidance. Additional monitoring costs for Government and regulators in providing a more comprehensive understanding of prevailing environmental conditions Key links to other policies and measures: Implementation of the current licensing regime and compliance with SEA, EIA, Habitats, and Water Framework Directives.
Targets Ireland, the Netherlands, and the UK are most closely aligned – an operational target based on existing regulatory framework. Other countries using a mixture of pressure and state targets i.e. measurable changes to hydrographical conditions or habitats How well coordinated are the UK proposals within the NE Atlantic? Relatively low level of coordination and commonality although higher level ambitions are broadly in line. In practice reliance on licensing and existing requirements important. GES Determinations are mainly qualitative but differ significantly in detail and language.
Issues and gaps Outstanding issues and gaps include: More work needed at an OSPAR level to better align approaches Test whether the regulatory regime can ensure GES through case studies Update guidance as appropriate Improved understanding of prevailing environmental conditions Improved ability to assess and manage cumulative effects.