EMODnet Seabed Habitats

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Seabed Habitats was initiated in EMODnet Phase I (2009-2013) through the EUSeaMap project. During the current Phase II (2013-2016), Seabed Habitats will extend the work carried out during the preparatory Phase 1 to move from a prototype to an operational service delivering full coverage of a broad-scale map for all European sea-basins, along with the dissemination of maps from surveys. Habitat maps are important as they contain essential information about the seafloor which is required to sustainably manage and develop the economic potential of European sea-basins. European seabed habitat maps serve many purposes including the design of ecologically coherent Marine Protected Area (MPA) networks, species distribution modelling, establishing monitoring programmes for seabed habitats and informing maritime spatial planning (MSP). They are also indispensable for Member States to fulfill their legal obligations under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), where full coverage of seabed predominant habitats of all European seas is required.

Unfortunately, habitat maps from surveys are very costly and time consuming to produce. A more time- and cost-efficient way to meet the need for a full coverage habitat map is to use low resolution maps and models to predict seafloor habitat types. These maps of expected seabed-habitat types can be generated by combining a series of proxy measurements such as; water depth, sediment type and light levels amongst others, using statistical analysis and Geographical Information System (GIS) modelling.

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URL: http://atlas.marine.ie/arcgis/services/HabitatsBiotopes/MapServer/WMSServer?

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