Skip to main content

BB8 - Condition of benthic habitat defining communities (MMI) (BH2)

FieldDescriptionValidated Entry
[Table title]Name of monitoring programmeCondition of benthic habitat defining communities (MMI) (BH2)
[ProgrammeDescription]Description of the monitoring programmeRegional assessments on benthic habitats are at an early stage of development and this common approach will be further elaborated in subsequent assessment cycle(s). More details on monitoring and assessment principles of the common approach are described in BH2 CEMP ( Details on already agreed and implemented monitoring and assessment in the context of the European Union Water Framework Directive are described in CEMP Annex 2. Details on the partial OSPAR intermediate assessment for the Southern North Sea are described in CEMP Annex 3. It is anticipated that current monitoring, and pressure data, have gaps to fully assess all habitats, against all pressure type in all OSPAR maritime area, notably for offshore habitats.
[OtherPoliciesConventions]Monitoring for other Union legislation or international agreements that contributes to the programme.OSP-CEMP
[Contracting Parties monitoring]

Which other countries are involved in practical implementation of this monitoring programme, and what is the degree of cooperation.

Coordinated data collection (delivered separately by each country)
[Contracting Parties supplying data] BE, DK, FR, NL, NO, SE, UK
[Contracting Parties with an "opt out"]  
[Temporal scope]Start (and end) date of the programme.2003 - 9999
[Spatial scope]Spatial coverage of the programme according to the jurisdictional zones of marine waters.Coastal waters (WFD)
Territorial waters
[Aggregation of Data]At which scale can the data from the sub-programme be aggregated for environmental assessments?Cf. temporal and spatial scope
[MarineReportingUnit]Area(s) where the programme takes place.marineSubregion

[Monitoring Purpose]

Purpose of the programme aimed at collecting data and information.Environmental state and impacts
[MonitoringType]Type of monitoring (in-situ, remote sensing, etc.).In-situ sampling offshore
In-situ sampling coastal
In-situ sampling land/beach
[Indicator Metric]Feature(s) monitored (ecosystem components, pressures, activities).HabBenAll
[Elements]Element(s) monitored (e.g. species, habitats, contaminants). Abyssal
Circalittoral coarse sediment
Circalittoral mixed sediment
Circalittoral mud
Circalittoral rock and biogenic reef
Circalittoral sand
Infralittoral coarse sediment
Infralittoral mixed sediment
Infralittoral mud
Infralittoral rock and biogenic reef
Infralittoral sand
Littoral rock and biogenic reef
Littoral sediment
Lower bathyal rock and biogenic reef
Lower bathyal sediment
Offshore circalittoral coarse sediment
Offshore circalittoral mixed sediment
Offshore circalittoral mud
Offshore circalittoral rock and biogenic
Offshore circalittoral sand
Upper bathyal rock and biogenic reef
Upper bathyal sediment
[Zostera] beds in infralittoral sediments
Baltic muddy bottoms of the aphotic zone
Species-rich gravel, coarse sand and shell-gravel areas
Boreal Baltic narrow inlets
Large shallow inlets and bays
Mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide
Posidonia beds (Posidonion oceanicae)
Sandbanks which are slightly covered by seawater all the time
Submarine structures made by leaking gases
Submerged or partially submerged sea caves
Coastal Zone Sand (NL)
Cymodocea beds
Dogger Bank Sand (NL)
Frysian Front Sand (NL)
Offshore Sand (NL)
Oyster Banks Mud (NL)
Seagrass meadows and other macrophyte stocks (DE)
Sublittoral mud (DE)
Soft bottom non biogenic habitat
Coralligenous habitat
Maerl beds
White Corals
[Element Monitored] Habitat types and Biological features
BH2 already applied and implemented at European Union scale for Water Framework Directive (for some very coastal habitat types) for eutrophication (chemical pressure), it can be considered already partly operational for these pressure habitat types. But this is actually very insufficient to cover the main of all OSPAR and MSFD issues for benthic habitat assessment. Reporting of European Member States for MSFD art.11, and works on updated OSPAR JAMP, should help to extend required monitoring (wide scale), even if it may need further works to harmonize and adapt these potentially new additional monitoring, for a coherent BH2 assessment at OSPAR level. Existing and further local environmental impact assessment may contribute to requirement of assessment area (fine scale), even if it will probably require further more works to harmonize and adapt it for a coherent BH2 assessment at OSPAR level.
[Parameter Measured]Parameter(s) monitored.ABU-REL
[Monitoring Guidelines/Monitoring Method in place]Guidelines/protocols describing the method for monitoring.OTH
[MonitoringMethodOther]Guidelines/protocols describing the method for monitoring.

[Quality Assurance Procedures in Place]In addition to a specified method, is there any additional Quality Assurance used?Other
To be developed, in line with existing related standards (e.g. OSPAR Agreement 2012-12, based on EN ISO 16665-2005 and EN ISO 19493-2007). Taxonomic skills on data collection and validation are required
[Quality Control]What type of Quality Control is used?Other: Depending on data depositories. An agreed common taxonomic referential (e.g. WoRMS) should be used to bancarize biological data, to be validated by expert (taxonomic skills)
[Data submission Frequency (and deadline)]Frequency of the monitoringBH2-A = Every 6 years;
BH2-B = One-off
[Applicable MSFD GES Criteria]Indicator(s) to which the programme contributes.D1C6
[Data Depository]Link to where monitoring data can be accessed (Art. 19(3)BH2-A =
BH2-B =
[Data Custodian] Each country holds its own data.
[Assessment Guidelines] 

COBAM Technical Specification & Project Plan for BH2 (living documents)

[Assessment tools available]  
[Nature of data]  
BB8 - Condition of benthic habitat defining communities (MMI) (BH2)