Skip to main content

E1 - Nutrient concentrations in seawater (*DIN *DIP)

FieldDescriptionValidated Entry
[Table title]Name of monitoring programmeNutrient concentrations in seawater (*DIN *DIP)
[ProgrammeDescription]Description of the monitoring programme

Monitoring of nutrient concentrations in seawater is carried out within OSPAR's Coordinated Environmental Monitoring Programme (CEMP) (Agreement 2016-01); component E-1.

The OSPAR Eutrophication Monitoring Programme (OSPAR Agreement 2005-04) provides the basis for enabling Contracting Parties to assess and classify the eutrophication status of their maritime waters under the Common Procedure for the Identification of the Eutrophication Status of the OSPAR Maritime Area.

The monitoring and assessment procedures associated with the eutrophication monitoring programme incorporate a certain degree of flexibility addressing sub-regions of the maritime area with different levels of eutrophication risk and different characteristics (stratified/non-stratified water bodies, rocky/non-rocky shores etc.):

  • In non-problem areas with regard to eutrophication the monitoring programme has the function of detecting changes in the eutrophication status or confirming the status of particular areas as non-problem areas. This should be done with respect to assessment parameters and their assessment levels related to the area-specific background concentrations defined in the Comprehensive Procedure. Clearly, monitoring effort should be limited to a limited number of parameters and a limited frequency of measurements, although spatial coverage should not be neglected.
  • In problem areas with regard to eutrophication the monitoring programme should focus on long-term trends in nutrient concentration and on a selection of related eutrophication effect parameters, taking into account corresponding long-term trends in nutrient inputs. A larger number of parameters and a higher sampling frequency should be considered than is the case for non-problem areas, so as to satisfy statistical requirements. The spatial coverage should also be more focused than for non-problem areas. Monitoring should continue until the non-problem area status is achieved.

Areas where assessment parameters have low confidence and the status with regard to eutrophication cannot be determined with sufficient certainty, either due to high variability, low monitoring effort or because these areas are close to the assessment levels, the requirements of problem areas should be applied until the status (non-problem or problem area) can be determined with at least moderate confidence. In areas where low confidence is based on low monitoring effort but reduced monitoring is appropriate due to the low risk of eutrophication, the requirements of problem areas will not be applied.

National monitoring programmes are designed to maximise the possibility for using the same monitoring for the EU WFD and the MSFD for Contracting Parties bound by these instruments.

[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
[Contracting Parties supplying data] BE, DE, DK, ES, FR, IE, IS, NL, NO, SE, UK
[Contracting Parties with an "opt out"]  
[Temporal scope]Start (and end) date of the programme.1995 - 9999
[Spatial scope]Spatial coverage of the programme according to the jurisdictional zones of marine waters.EEZ (or similar, e.g. Contiguous Zone, Fishing Zone, Ecological Protection Zone)
[Aggregation of Data]At which scale can the data from the sub-programme be aggregated for environmental assessments?Other: MSFD Sub-region or other sub-divisions such as COMP assessment areas
[MarineReportingUnit]Area(s) where the programme takes place.


[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,
Remote surveillance (buoys),
Remote satellite imagery,
Other - Ferrybox
[Indicator Metric]Feature(s) monitored (ecosystem components, pressures, activities).PresEnvEutrophi
[Elements]Element(s) monitored (e.g. species, habitats, contaminants).

TOC - total organic carbon

[Element Monitored] Physical and chemical features – spatial and temporal distribution of nutrients (DIN, TN, DIP, TP, TOC)
[Parameter Measured]Parameter(s) monitored.


[Monitoring Guidelines/Monitoring Method in place]Guidelines/protocols describing the method for monitoring.


[MonitoringMethodOther]Guidelines/protocols describing the method for monitoring.Eutrophication Monitoring Programme (OSPAR Agreement 2005-04, updated 2013) OSPAR Joint Assessment and Monitoring Programme (JAMP) 2014–2023 (Agreement 2014-02) OSPAR JAMP guidelines ( Revised JAMP Eutrophication Monitoring Guideline: Nutrients (OSPAR Agreement 2013-04)
[Quality Assurance Procedures in Place]In addition to a specified method, is there any additional Quality Assurance used?QUASIMEME, ISO, CEN, national
[Quality Control]What type of Quality Control is used?Delayed
[Data submission Frequency (and deadline)]Frequency of the monitoringYearly
[Applicable MSFD GES Criteria]Indicator(s) to which the programme contributes.D5C1
[Data Depository]Link to where monitoring data can be accessed (Art. 19(3))
[Data Custodian] ICES Datacentre
[Assessment Guidelines]

[Assessment tools available]
[Nature of data] Processed
E1 - Nutrient concentrations in seawater (*DIN *DIP)