OSPAR's Biological Diversity & Ecosystems Committee meets in Madeira

7 March 2018

Marine birds are in trouble’ was one of the key messages of the OSPAR Intermediate Assessment 2017. The OSPAR Biodiversity Committee met 19-23 February 2018 in Madeira, Portugal, to discuss the proposed designation of new Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the High Seas of the OSPAR Maritime Area to protect seabirds. Seabird tracking data have identified an area beyond the mid-Atlantic ridge used as a feeding ground by millions of seabirds. BDC 2018 agreed that the scientific basis for the proposal of an MPA is sound, and therefore OSPAR will continue its work towards a possible designation of an MPA in the High Seas.

BDC 2018 continued to improve methods for assessing the status of biodiversity in the North-East Atlantic. A new indicator that assesses the status of communities of benthic organisms in the Bay of Biscay and the Iberian Coast (OSPAR Region IV) was agreed, as well as improved documentation on how to carry out other indicator assessments. Furthermore, a completely new method for assessing the OSPAR species and habitats listed as threatened and/or declining was discussed.

For more details, please see the BDC 2018 summary record