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DEVOTES. Understanding the seas biodiversity to protect them

The Instituto de Ciencias del Mar in Barcelona is involved on the European project DEVOTES, aimed to assess the marine ecosystems state of health.  Scientists will recommend European authorities the measures that will help to achieve a sustainable management of the ocean.

 

Devotes is aimed to assess the marine ecosystems in Europe.The Marine strategy European framework establishes the goals to protect the marine environment more effectively. Among other things, it establishes that before 2020 all the country members must assess the state of health of their marine ecosystems and the impact of human activities on them.

This information is crucial to decide the most suitable policy to preserve the seas. That’s why scientists all over Europe are working together in the project Devotes.

More than 250 scientists from 23 scientific centres from 12 countries are involved in Devotes. They are from Europe but also from other countries such as Ukraine, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the USA. Scientists will study the impact of human activities and global change in the Atlantic Ocean, the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. 

The project is coordinated by the scientist Ángel Borja at AZTI-Tecnalia (Spain).The team at the CSIC’s Instituto de Ciencias del Mar is the one led by Esther Garcés and Josep Maria Gasol. The project has a budget of € 12 million, 9 of which are funded by the European 7th Framework Programme.

Biodiversity, pollution, rubbish, noises…

Scientists will analyze different parameters to describe the state of marine ecosystems, such as biodiversity alterations, introduction of alien species or the commercial fisheries situation. They will analyze also changes in the food web, eutrophication, pollutants within water and sea products, or the presence of rubbish and noises in the sea.  Main human activities and social and economic factors will be also considered.

Scientists will recommend the authorities which are the best measures to achieve a sustainable management of the ocean.

DEVOTES is also intended to develop innovative integrative modeling tools to improve the understanding of ecosystem and biodiversity changes. The tools can be used by statutory bodies, companies and marine research institutes to monitor biodiversity, applying both empirical and automatic data acquisition.

Afterwards, scientists will recommend the authorities which are the best measures to achieve a sustainable management of the ocean. The measures will affect anyone related to the marine ecosystem: from governments and international marine agreements, until companies and industry (fisheries, aquaculture or transport). The measures should be implemented in 2020.

DEVOTES (DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status) http://www.devotes-project.eu/