Common Procedure

The OSPAR Commission’s strategic objective with regard to eutrophication is to combat eutrophication in the OSPAR Maritime Area with the ultimate aim to achieve and maintain a healthy marine environment where anthropogenic eutrophication does not occur. The Common Procedure for the Identification of the Eutrophication Status of the OSPAR Maritime Area (the "Common Procedure") provides an assessment framework for Contracting Parties to evaluate the eutrophication status of their parts of the OSPAR Maritime Area and for identifying those areas for which actions are needed under the Eutrophication Strategy.

The Common Procedure characterises areas as:

  • Problem areas if there is evidence of an undesirable disturbance to the marine ecosystem due to anthropogenic enrichment by nutrients;
  • Potential problem areas if there are reasonable grounds for concern that the anthropogenic contribution of nutrients may be causing or may lead in time to an undesirable disturbance to the marine ecosystem due to elevated levels, trends and/or fluxes in such nutrients;
  • Non-problem areas if there are no grounds for concern that anthropogenic enrichment by nutrients has disturbed or may in the future disturb the marine ecosystem.

The assessment and classification is supplemented by common monitoring and reporting arrangements to attain harmonised information on the eutrophication status of Maritime Area.