|Date:||Tuesday 08 September 2009|
|From:||Simon Claus, Francisco Hernandez (Flanders Marine Institute, VLIZ)|
|To:||Dick Schaap, All EMODNET partners|
|Subject:||Geographic Delimitations sea areas EMODNET Preparatory Actions|
|Intro:||Attached an overview of the communications within the EMODNET Preparatory Actions regarding the delimitations of sea areas and a proposal on the sea delimitations to use.|
Communications on Sea Regions:
- During the EMODNET Kick-Off Meeting, 5th June 2009 following point was made: Map regions. Although not very precise, the descriptions of the sea regions and sea-subregions provided in the technical specifications are sufficient for now. VLIZ will make available their shape files of the IHO regions to the consortia. It may be that an operational EMODNET will subdivide the regions differently.
- At the Biological Kick-Off Meeting, Neil Holdsworth, ICES mentioned ICES is currently working on a new delimitation which will be used in the framework of the MSFD. The MSFD Marine Regions will be largely based on the ICES Ecoregions. It might be wise for EMODNET to adopt the MSFD limitations once they are agreed.
- In a communication from 14 July from Andy Cameron from JNCC (Habitats) was not in favour of using the IHO sea areas, they also proposed to use in the absence of an agreed MSFD Marine regions the ICES Ecoregions:
- “The coverage of the IHO sea boundaries are not very helpful, and potentially restrictive. It seems common sense to fill the gaps within the Mediterranean basin and the Baltic Sea subdivisions like Skaggerak and Gulf of Bothnia, but the issue of the western boundaries in north-west Europe of the EMODNET lots perhaps needs a little more careful attention. Using IHO boundaries would require, in areas to the west of Ireland and Scotland, for example, subdivision of the IHO ‘North Atlantic Ocean’ area which would recommend the use of other pre-existing boundaries anyway.
- The tender specification does define the western boundary in the North East Atlantic Ocean basin, as “the edge of the exclusive economic zone of EU Member States or the edge of the continental shelf; whichever is the further west”. In the absence of MSFD agreed boundaries at this time, we suggest the adoption of ICES ecoregions as better regional divisions, with only the western Continental shelf limits for UK and Ireland then needed to modify the extent with respect to the Celtic Seas. These ecoregions are likely to inform the MSFD boundaries once agreed and in addition cover the obvious interpretation of the regions described in the tender specification. We want to bring this to your attention at this stage, not only since the outputs of the Hydrographic and Geological EMODNET lots are of particular importance to the EUSeaMap project, but also to avoid potential difficulties further along the line with respect to the expected general outputs of the EMODNET contracts in relation to MSFD needs”
Conclusion + proposal
We propose therefore to use for now the ICES Ecoregions but also implement a second baseline layer with EEZs.
- This will facilitate a future integration with the MSFD Marine Regions
- It is preferable to use the ICES Ecoregions because IHO does not delimit the Western Irish Sea separately.
- We propose also to make use of the EEZs as a second background layer. We are in favour of this option due the national character of different data collection & monitoring activities.
RegionsTranslation EMODNET Regions - ICES Ecoregions
- An overview of all the ICES Ecoregions can be downloaded from here
- The EMODNET Regions can then be translated into following ICES Ecoregions:
For all Lots
North Sea Lot 1 (hydrographic)
Adriatic-Ionian – Central Med
the project should also cover
the Celtic Seas
Western Mediterranean and the
!! The current ICES Ecoregion ‘Adriatic-Ionian’ does not differentiate between the Ionian and Adriatic Sea. Therefore we eliminated the Adriatic Sea from the Ices-Ecoregion ‘Adriatic-Ionian’. This updated ICES Ecoregion version can be downloaded from
Remark: it must be noted that the EMODNET Hydrographic Lot contractually is not covering the Adriatic Sea, but follows the boundaries as indicated in the zip file.
Lot 2 (geological)
the project should also cover the
Lot 3 (chemical)
the project should also cover the
Lot 4 (biological)
South European Atlantic Shelf
the project should also cover the Bay of Biscay and the Iberian Coast
translation EMODNET Regions – Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ)
- An overview of all the EEZs can be downloaded from here
- The EMODNET Regions can then be translated into following EEZs