What this presentation will cover Descriptors 1, 4 & 6: Quick reminder of descriptors and targets Overview of proposed POMs Reaching GES by 2020?
Descriptor 1: Biodiversity is maintained. The quality and occurrence of habitats and the distribution and abundance of species are in line with the prevailing physiographic, geographic and climatic conditions. Descriptor 4: All elements of the marine food webs, to the extent that they are known, occur at normal abundance and diversity and levels capable of ensuring the long term abundance of the species and the retention of their full reproductive capacity. Descriptor 6: Sea-floor integrity is at a level that ensures that the structure and functions of the ecosystem are safeguarded and benthic ecosystems, in particular, are not affected. D 1, 4 and 6 – What the Directive says
UK GES Targets 3 Species Groups Fish Birds Marine Mammals 2 Habitats Groups Pelagic Benthic
SPECIES - Targets Mammals and Birds Targets (D1&4): Species distribution Population size Population condition Productivity of key species Abundance distribution of key trophic species Fish Targets (D1&4) Species distribution Population size Ecosystem structure Proportion of selected species at the top of the food web
HABITATS - Targets Pelagic habitats (D1, 4 & 6) Habitat distribution Habitat condition Ecosystem structure Abundance/distribution of key species/trophic groups Condition of the benthic community Benthic Habitats (D1&6) Habitat distribution Habitat extent Habitat condition; physical damage; condition of the benthic community
Biodiversity POMS – Overview Uses existing programmes already underway for other purposes. Habitats Directive, Birds Directive, WFD and CFP are the main 4 pillars for the programme of measures. Measures under each for specific species or habitats will contribute to the achievement of the other.
HABITATS – POMS Pelagic Habitats Pelagic habitats are already in GES No additional specific measures required. Measure undertaken to meet CFP requirements (D3) and Eutrophication (D5) should be sufficient to maintain status.
HABITATS - POMS Benthic habitats Special Areas of Conservation SSSIs ASSIs and intertidal SSSIs Marine Protected Areas including Marine Conservation Zones Marine Licences and Consents Technical measures on fishing activities and byelaws
SPECIES - POMS Mammals - Seals Conservation of habitat via SACs and SPAs Conservation of Seals Act Marine Scotland Act The Wildlife (Northern Ireland ) Order 1985
SPECIES - POMS Mammals – Cetaceans Habitats Directive Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Bycatch Regulations IWC and Ascobans Guidance and codes of conduct
SPECIES - POMS Birds SPAs - Birds Directive and related national legislation MPAs - Habitats Directive Common Fisheries Policy OSPAR Recommendations Byelaws or equivalent statutory controls MPA network UK Seabird Bycatch Plan of Action
SPECIES - POMS Fish Common Fisheries Policy – TACs, quotas and real-time closures, Marine Protected Areas: Habitats and Wild Birds Directives / Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, The Offshore Marine Conservation Regulations 2007 Species Specific Measures - The Wildlife and Countryside Act Species Specific Measures Elasmobranchs
Achievement of GES Extent that the measures identified will contribute towards the achievement of GES by 2020. Pelagic – we are already at GES. Benthic – measures will contribute but the rate at which this happens needs further evaluation Mammals – Seals yes. Harbour seals further study is required Cetaceans – Yes. The measures will contribute to maintaining GES for those species whose status is “favourable” & to the achievement of GES for other cetacean species
Achievement of GES An increased level of protection from persecution, under the Birds Directive and other national legislation has had a beneficial effect on the UK’s breeding seabird populations. Non-breeding shorebirds and breeding water birds - confident the measures are sufficient on the basis of current knowledge and conditions, for the achievement GES in 2020 Breeding seabirds - difficult to be certain that GES will be achieved by 2020 given the uncertainties around the links between pressures and impacts and the effectiveness of some measures.
Achievement of GES Fish - the reformed CFP and the other measures will lead to a reduction in overall pressures, which will reduce impacts on the fish community including sensitive species. This is expected to lead to an improvement in the status of fish stocks and to the achievement of GES. GAPS and ISSUES Further research and evidence gathering. Reconsideration of measures.
Consultation questions Question 1: Are the proposed measures for the Descriptor sufficient to meet the requirements of the Directive? Question 2: Are there any additional existing or planned measures we have not included? Question 3: Are there any new measures that are needed? If so please provide details and evidence to show how they would contribute. Question 4: Are there any measures proposed that you think are not justified or that will not contribute? Question 5: Do you agree with the justifications provided for the use of exceptions under Article 14? Question 6: Are there any significant human activity-related pressures that are not addressed by the proposed measures?