Map of the week – Predictive habitat map for MSFD | Central Portal

    You are here

Map of the week – Predictive habitat map for MSFD

Map of the week – Predictive habitat map for MSFD

This coming Friday, May 22, we celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity. Biological Diversity (Biodiversity) is the wide variety and variability of life on our planet, including all plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms. The resources this biodiversity provides, from food to medicine, are the pillars upon which humans have survived and built civilizations for the past millennia. As the seas and oceans cover over 70% of the earth’s surface, the marine environment holds an important part of our planet’s biodiversity resources. It also supports some of the most biodiverse ecosystems, from coral reefs to sea grass meadows. However, changes in land and sea use, over-exploitation, climate change, pollution and the spread of invasive non-native species through our global transportation network are all causing a decline in biodiversity, at rates unprecedented in human history[1]. In the ocean, up to 33% of reef-forming coral species, a third of marine mammals, and many other species are threatened with extinction in the coming decades.

Fortunately, this alarming loss in biodiversity is not going unnoticed. Today, May 20, the European Union (EU) is announcing its new Biodiversity Strategy for 2030[2]. As part of the European Green Deal, this strategy aims to preserve and restore the ecosystems and biodiversity on our planet. Also in previous decades, the EU has played an important role in protecting biodiversity. For example, the EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), adopted in 2008, has implemented measures that aim to protect the European marine environment and the economic activities that depend on it.

A vital component of the MSFD is to assess the location and status of marine ecosystems across European regional seas. As the marine realm is so vast, habitat mapping, which predicts the occurrence of different seabed habitats based on an achievable number of seafloor observations and environmental parameters, is an important tool to accomplish this goal. By combining a large amount of data, EMODnet Seabed Habitats has created an impressive broad-scale habitat map called EUSeaMap, which covers all European marine regions. It was created by layering multiple maps of seabed substrate, biological zones and hydrodynamic energy levels as well as other hydrographic parameters. The map of the week features the latest EUSeaMap (from 2019) that shows the predicted distribution of the different Benthic Broad Habitat types defined by the MSFD throughout European waters.


Access the map


The data in this map were provided by EMODnet Seabed Habitats.



Save the date - AlgaEurope goes online!

The AlgaEurope conference 2020 will be transformed to an online event due to the current developments around the Coronavirus. The deadline for the submitting the abstracts is extended until 27 September.

01 Dec 2020 to 03 Dec 2020

EMODnet presentation at Oceanology International

Oceanology international is the world's leading ocean technology marine science exhibition and conference. The conference and exhibition is of particular interest for those involved in exploration, monitoring, developing or protecting the world’s oceans from seabed to surface and beyond.​ The trade fair showcases the latest technologies from 500 global suppliers and market developments from across the ocean.

More information: (...

01 Dec 2020 to 04 Dec 2020
Remote Event

CommOCEAN 2020: 4th International Marine Science Communication Conference

CommOCEAN 2020 Conference aims to provide communication skills and inspiration to marine communicators across a range of experience levels. The Conference programme combines hands-on exercises in current science communication skills for disseminating ocean research and technology. The 4th conference is taking place online, hosted and organised by the Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences (IO PAN).

More information:

01 Dec 2020 to 02 Dec 2020