Ecosystem Indicators for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)

MSFD-Support Research on OSPAR Ecological Quality Objectives

Summary: STRIVE Report 105 - Samuel Shephard, David G. Reid, Deirdre Brophy, Rick Officer and Ian O’Connor

Published: 2013

ISBN: 978-1-84095-486-9

Pages: 68

Filesize: 1,056 KB

Format: pdf


The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) has potential to become a powerful forum for sustainable management of the oceans. The OSPAR EcoQO (Ecological Quality Objectives) system can contribute to the implementation of the MSFD in Irish waters. This research provides reference tables which link OSPAR to the MSFD and other EU legislative drivers. A generic protocol is described for Ireland which can be used to rapidly evaluate any set of candidate ecosystem indicators. However, the research team found that there are some important gaps; for example, lack of indicators of benthic or pelagic community/habitat state.