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Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Mar. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.552047

A synthesis of marine monitoring methods with the potential to enhance the status assessment of the Baltic Sea Provisionally accepted The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon. Notify me

  • 1Department of Aquatic Ecology, Faculty of Biology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
  • 2Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Finland
  • 3Red Sea Research Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia
  • 4Fakultät für Biologie, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Germany
  • 5Marine Research Division, Technology Center Expert in Marine and Food Innovation (AZTI), Spain
  • 6Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden
  • 7Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research (LG), Germany
  • 8Halmstad University, Sweden, Sweden
  • 9Department of Marine Systems, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
  • 10Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Finland
  • 11Institute for Toxicology and Pharmacology for Natural Scientists, Medical Faculty, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Germany
  • 12Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Sweden

A multitude of anthropogenic pressures deteriorate the Baltic Sea, resulting in the need to protect and restore its marine ecosystem. For an efficient conservation, comprehensive monitoring and assessment of all ecosystem elements is of fundamental importance. The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission HELCOM coordinates conservation measures regulated by several European directives. However, this holistic assessment is hindered by gaps within the current monitoring schemes. Here, twenty-two novel methods with the potential to fill some of these gaps and improve the monitoring of the Baltic marine environment are examined. We asked key stakeholders to point out methods likely to improve current Baltic Sea monitoring. We then described these methods in a comparable way and evaluated them based on their costs and applicability potential (i.e. possibility to make them operational). Twelve methods require low to very low costs, while five require moderate and two high costs. Seventeen methods were rated with a high to very high applicability, whereas four methods had moderate and one low applicability for Baltic Sea monitoring. Methods with both low costs and a high applicability include the Manta Trawl, Encapsulated Filtration Device, Sediment Corer, Argo Float, Artificial Substrates, Citizen Observation, Earth Observation, the HydroFIA®pH system, DNA Metabarcoding and Stable Isotope Analysis.

Keywords: marine management, data acquisition, water framework directive, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Baltic Sea Action Plan

Received: 15 Apr 2020; Accepted: 07 Sep 2020.

Copyright: © 2020 Mack, Attila, Aylagas, Beermann, Borja, Hering, Kahlert, Leese, Lenz, Lehtiniemi, Liess, Lips, Mattila, Meissner, Setälä, Strehse, Uusitalo, Willstrand Wranne and Birk. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Leoni Mack, Department of Aquatic Ecology, Faculty of Biology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany, leoni.mack@uni-due.de