has published online versions of the four ecosystem overviews –Barents Sea, Bay
of Biscay and the Iberian coast, Celtic Seas, and Greater North Sea – released earlier this year. The overviews
provide a description of the regional ecosystems, identify the main human
pressures, and explain how these impact key ecosystem components at regional
Linking activities, pressures and statesThe diagrams provide an interface for the ecosystem overviews with visual links between human activities, pressures, and states. Users can easily discover the multiple connections and relationships between the three areas, and explore further by selecting the desired set of links. The graphics make the overview content more accessible, as they help to break down large amounts of data into small pieces, when disseminated through the links.
Wide appealThe aim is for the entire ICES community, policy-makers, regional organizations, and the general public to benefit from the introduction of the new diagrams. Their interactive characteristics invite users to explore and discover the different scenarios, and to engage in discussions. They will also help create awareness of the distribution of the main human activities and their resultant pressure on the environment and ecosystems across the ICES regions. The tool will not only help identify areas on the most up-to-date knowledge available to the scientific community, but also informs of areas where knowledge is lacking, alerting to situations that need further attention and where effort is needed to close the gap.
The strength of the overviews lies in the quality of the data and information provided, which are based on contributions from a large number of expert groups within the ICES community.
Next on the agendaIn the future the collection of four ecosystem overviews will be expanded by at least three more, which are currently under development. It is expected that these online tools will grow into an important and accessible platform for presenting knowledge about the marine ecosystem in the North Atlantic including the Baltic Sea, and will have a significant impact among all types of users, due to their innovative nature and accessibility.