February 1st to 5th 2016
Olhão, Portugal
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Mapping Marine Extraction Pressure within UK waters

Scientific Exhibition
Habitat Loss and Ocean Noise
Thursday, February 4, 2016 -
17:30 to 19:30

Peckett, F.J. 1 Eassom, A. 2 Church, N.J. 3 Robson, L.M. 4 Johnson, G.E. 5

1Joint Natural Conservation Committee (JNCC)
4Joint Natural Conservation Committee (JNCC)

There are a growing number of human activities occurring within the marine environment which can result in pressures and, in some instances, adverse impacts on marine habitats and species. Therefore it is important to understand how human activities interact with biodiversity so that any impacts can be managed. To do this, there is a requirement to know where, spatially, human activities occur across UK waters and if the habitats and species exposed to these activities are sensitive to associated pressures. When combined, exposure and sensitivity provide an indication of a habitat’s ‘vulnerability’ to impacts.To support this vulnerability assessment approach, JNCC are developing methods for creating geospatial pressure datasets. These datasets are created using a GIS to delineate their spatial extent and all activities that are known to exert the pressure are considered. In the UK one of the priority pressures on benthic habitats is considered to be ‘extraction’, which is described as the ’physical damage caused by selective extraction (e.g. by exploration and exploitation of living and non-living resources on seabed and subsoil)’. The method for creating a geospatial pressure dataset for extraction will be explored as an example of the work being undertaken by JNCC.Activities known to exert the pressure of extraction were evaluated. Aggregate and navigational (both for shipping lanes & for port development) dredging were identified as having the greatest spatial extent. To create the dataset the spatial extents of the two activities were mapped in a GIS and combined to produce yearly pressure footprints. Issues identified during the development of the dataset include: the navigational dredging dataset overestimated the extent of dredged areas, and currently, the pressure dataset does not include information on intensity of the activities.The potential uses of the pressure datasets are wide-reaching and these will be discussed further in the conclusions of the talk.
Pressure, Extraction, Management, Vulnerability, GIS

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