Demersal fish biodiversity: species-level indicators and trends-based targets for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Simon P. R. Greenstreet, Axel G. Rossberg, Clive J. Fox, William J. F. Le Quesne, Tom Blasdale, Philip Boulcott, Ian Mitchell, Colin Millar, Colin F. Moffat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The maintenance of biodiversity is a fundamental theme of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Appropriate indicators to monitor change in biodiversity, along with associated targets representing "good environmental status" (GES), are required to be in place by July 2012. A method for selecting species-specific metrics to fulfil various specified indicator roles is proposed for demersal fish communities. Available data frequently do not extend far enough back in time to allow GES to be defined empirically. In such situations, trends-based targets offer a pragmatic solution. A method is proposed for setting indicator-level targets for the number of species-specific metrics required to meet their trends-based metric-level targets. This is based on demonstrating significant departures from the binomial distribution. The procedure is trialled using North Sea demersal fish survey data. Although fisheries management in the North Sea has improved in recent decades, management goals to stop further decline in biodiversity, and to initiate recovery, are yet to be met.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1789-1801
Number of pages13
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

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