Other Open Access
Grehan, A; Hynes, S; Callery, O; Norton, D; Gafeira, J; Burnett, K; Foley, N; Stirling, D; González-Irusta, J-M; Morato, T; Henderson, S
The Convention on Biological Diversity in 2004 set out 12 principles to underpin implementation of the ecosystem approach that can be broadly grouped into four categories:
People - The care of nature is a shared responsibility for all of society; we most value all knowledge and perspectives; we most involve more of society in decisions.
Scale and Dynamics - Work at the right geographic scale and timescale; look well ahead into the future; work with inevitable environmental change.
Functions and services - Maintain the flow of ecosystem services; work within the capacity of natural systems; balance the demand for use and conservation of the environment.
Management - Allow decisions to be led locally, as far as practicable; assess the effects of decisions on others; consider economic factors.
Fifteen years later the integration of ecosystem services and natural capital into environmental assessment is still very much in its infancy. Despite their seemingly remote nature, deep sea benthic habitats generate ecosystem services which provide benefits to society. Examples of these ecosystem services include provisioning ecosystem services such as fisheries, regulating ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling and maintenance of biodiversity and cultural ecosystems such as existence value. This report examines the assessment, mapping and valuation of ecosystem services in the marine and specifically for deep sea benthic habitats in the ATLAS case studies. For the provisioning ecosystem service of fisheries, a comparison is made between qualitative and quantitative approaches in methods of measuring and mapping ecosystem services generated from benthic habitats.
In addition, this report has collated maps assessing the risk of fisheries impact - the most widespread and impacting human activity in the North Atlantic – in areas where vulnerable marine ecosystems and fish habitat are likely to occur in each ATLAS case study. This work presented as an atlas will provide a foundation to underpin subsequent testing of blue growth scenarios in each of the case studies.