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Development, advancement and harmonisation of assessment approaches within the framework of MSFD and Habitats Directive as well as expert representation at BLANO, OSPAR, HELCOM and ICES


Project leader: Prof. Prof. h. c. Dr. Ursula Siebert
Scientific work: Dr. Anita Gilles (ICES, OSPAR)
Dr. Kristina Lehnert (HELCOM)
Project term: 01.05.2018 - 31.07.2021
third-party funds provided by: Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)

Project description

The implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EG, MSFD) aims to achieve a good environmental status (GES) of the European oceans until 2020. The MSFD obliges all European coastal states to effectuate the development and execution of national marine strategies. It sets a tight time schedule for the accomplishment of several obligations, like the results of the status assessments of the German North and Baltic Seas, which have to be reported to the European Commission regularly, the determination of the GES of the German marine areas and the determination of environmental targets. In the context of this range of tasks, the Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research shall support the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) scientifically, in order to perform the existing reporting duties and actions timely and with professional quality. Approaches to the evaluation of the biodiversity status within the MSFD will be compiled on international, national and regional levels, refined and different approaches will be harmonised.

They will be processed nationally as well as internationally in different committees and working groups (for example in the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)) and debated within regional marine protection treaties (Oslo and Paris Commission (OSPAR) and Helsinki Commission (HELCOM)). The cooperation regarding the MSFD and partially the Council Directive on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora will be organised within the framework of BLANO in Germany. Currently, the assessments (for example scientific indicators) are being compiled and modulated in the different working groups. A continuous cooperation is necessary in the various working groups, in order to guarantee a sufficient incorporation of German research results and indicator concepts on international level. This is enabled within the framework of this project.
The ITAW has developed and implemented extensive research proposals and monitoring drafts with a focus on marine mammals for Germany in the past, with the result that long-term data and basics are available for indicator configuration at the ITAW. These shall be included in this process. The existing results provided by the ITAW, scientific analyses and considerations on the indicator configuration shall contribute to the international process, because the indicator development also presents an important tool for future monitoring research projects. Furthermore, it is also necessary from the scientific point of view to reconcile and effectuate the implementation and validation of indicators as well as monitoring efficiency on international level, because marine mammals are such highly mobile species.

Contact person

University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research Werftstr. 6 25761 Büsum


Dr. Kristina Lehnert-Sobotta


Tel..:+49 511 856-8171


send e-mail

Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research
Werftstr. 6
25761 Büsum
Tel.:+49 511 856-8171
Fax.:+49 511 856-8181
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