Valmer

Valuing Marine Ecosystem Services in the Western Channel The Ecosystem Services approach has been described as encompassing the aspects of ecosystems utilised to produce human well-being’. VALMER aims to examine how improved marine ecosystem services assessment can support effective and informed marine management and planning. It is an eleven partner, €4.7 million project co-funded by the INTERREG IV A Channel programme through the European Regional Development Fund. The project runs from 1st September 2012, to 31st March 2015. www.valmer.eu

Exploring the links between ecosystem services assessment and effective marine management and governance

The Western Channel is under increasing pressure from a wide range of competing uses and interests; effective and informed management of this shared space is vital to the sustainable use of this valuable resource. We know that ecosystem services assessment has the potential to improve marine management and planning, but to date there have been limited documented cases. VALMER will therefore explore methodologies that can be used to quantify, qualify and communicate the value (economic, social and environmental) of marine and coastal ecosystem services, and seek to improve understanding of the links between ecosystem services, their valuation, and effective marine management and governance.

Five key work packages will focus on:

  1. Assessing and valuing marine ecosystem services
  2. Visualising and interpreting ecosystem service valuation data
  3. Building scenarios to explore possible impacts, such as offshore wind development and population increase, on marine ecosystem services
  4. Applying marine ecosystem services valuations to improve marine planning and management.
  5. Disseminating results and lessons learned including communicating case study experiences and how methods may be transferable at larger scales.

There are six case study sites at which the techniques and methods of ecosystem services assessment and its application will be tested with stakeholders.

Value of sub-tidal sedimentary habitats in supporting commercial fisheries, carbon sequestration and waste remediation

Site North Devon
Key habitats Open coastline with rocky foreshore, intertidal mud and sand flats, sand dunes, subtidal muds and sands
Designations UNESCO Biosphere, EC Habitats and Species Directive, national landscape and marine protected area designations
Human activities Small coastal towns and villages, tourism, recreation, commercial fishing, agriculture
Focus of study Value of sub-tidal sedimentary habitats in supporting commercial fisheries, carbon sequestration and waste remediation
Site Plymouth Sound-Fowey
Key habitats Open coastline with cliffs, rocky reefs, beaches and subtidal sands, estuaries with subtidal and intertidal muds and sands, saltmarsh and seagrass
Designations EC Habitats and Species Directive, national landscape and marine protected area designations
Human activities Waterfront city and naval port, small towns, villages, ports and harbours tourism, recreation, commercial fishing, undeveloped coast and agricultural land
Focus of study All intertidal and subtidal habitats and the ecosystem services they provide
Site Poole Harbour
Key habitats Shallow natural harbour with saltmarsh, reed beds, intertidal mudflats, and seagrass
Designations Ramsar, EC Habitats and Species Directive, national landscape and nature designations
Human activities Combination of heavily populated and undeveloped coast, tourism, recreation, commercial port
Focus of study Recreation activities: bird watching, kitesurfing, windsurfing, kayaking, jetskiing, and waterskiing
Site Golfe du Morbihan
Key habitats Semi-enclosed sea with intertidal mudflats, seagrass
Designations Natural Regional Park Project, Ramsar, EC Habitats and Species Directive, national designations
Human activities Shellfish farming, fishing, heavily populated (seasonal), tourism, recreation
Focus of study Seagrass habitats and the ecosystem services they provide including: primary production, nursery provision, water purification, carbon sequestration, soil stabilization
Site Golfe Normand-Breton
Key habitats Sandy-mud estuaries, saltmarsh, intertidal sands and rocks, subtidal sandbars and rocky reefs, biogenic reefs
Designations Proposed Marine Nature Park, EC Habitats and Species Directive, Ramsar, national designations.
Human activities Shellfish farming, commercial fishing, aggregrate extraction, recreation, tourism, proposed offshore renewables.
Focus of study Tidal and subtidal benthic habitats and the ecosystem services they provide including: fish and shellfish stocks, supply of marine materials, carbon sequestration, cultural heritage, recreation, storage and nutrient cycling, waste remediation.
Site Parc Naturel Marin de la Mer d’Iroise
Key habitats Kelp beds, maerl, sandbanks, intertidal mudflats and sandflats
Designations Marine Nature Park, UNESCO Biosphere, EC Habitats and Species Directive, national designations., OSPAR MPA
Human activities Commercial fishing, including kelp harvesting, tourism
Focus of study Kelp habitats and the ecosystem services they provide, particularly kelp harvesting.

For more information, visit www.valmer.eu or

contact: Project Manager: Vanessa SMITH This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or

call +44 (0)1752 586183 Communications Officer: Steven Guilbert This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or

call +44 (0)1392 383231

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