Development and demonstration of Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) tools for harmonization of the initial assessment in the eastern parts of the Greater North Sea sub-region (HARMONY) (38894)

  • Sørensen, Thomas Kirk (Contact Person)
  • Vinther, Morten (Project Manager)
  • Rindorf, Anna (Project Participant)
  • Hartvig, Martin (Project Participant)

Project Details


The HARMONY project has developed and made available a toolbox supporting national MSFD implementation with special focus on issues of a transnational relevance and importance. It builds on cooperation among member states sharing the Greater North Sea sub-region through active involvement in several OSPAR groups. The tools are based on respecting the needs for national flexibility, while ensuring the necessary regional harmonization of key elements under the marine strategies.

The project partnership met these challenges through four development/harmonization activities and a coordination and information activity:
1. To develop and demonstrate a tool supporting an analysis of essential features and characteristics leading towards an integrated assessment building upon the criteria identified in the Commission Decision, while ensuring the necessary linkage to existing work under the Regional Sea Conventions as well as existing EU legislation (WFD, Natura 2000).
2. To develop and demonstrate a tool (a pressure and an impact index) supporting an analysis of the predominant pressures and impacts on the ecosystems, including those impacts of human activities for the Greater North Sea Marine sub-region.
3. Provide examples on the linkage of effects and human pressures to informed ecosystem-based marine strategies (based on activities 1 and 2.
4. To establish and support the active cooperation among member states sharing the Greater North Sea sub-region enabling comparisons and harmonization, where relevant and possible, between national efforts in preparing the initial assessment, elaborate the criteria including identification of indicators and target setting, and further on, the preparation of the monitoring program and the program of measures within the Greater North Sea sub-region.

DTU Aqua has focused on biodiversity of fish and fish populations, mapping fishing pressures and ecosystem components of the project working area (North Sea).

The project was coordinated by Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Denmark and funded by the Danish Ministry of Environment.

Research area: Ecosystem based Marine Management
Effective start/end date01/01/201001/01/2012

Collaborative partners

  • Technical University of Denmark (lead)
  • Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (Project partner)
  • Aarhus University (Project partner)
  • German Environment Agency (Project partner)
  • Institute of Marine Research (Project partner)
  • DHI Water - Environment - Health (Project partner)
  • Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (Project partner)
  • Norwegian Institute for Water Research (Project partner)
  • Climate and Pollution Agency (Project partner)


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