ICES Annual Science Conference 2015

Theme Session J

CIA on the loose

Jesper H. Andersen (Denmark)
Laura Uusitalo (Finland)
Jan Tjalling van der Wal (the Netherlands)

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Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) is a new and emerging research theme. In Europe, marine CIAs are required by the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) in relation to initial assessments. On a regular basis, EU Member States have to assess the multiple ways human activities affect marine ecosystems. Some of these ways are well-known, others poorly, but even in the case of well-known functional relationships, the combined effects of several pressures acting upon ecosystem components concurrently is much more uncertain. In order to ensure good environmental status (GES) and to guarantee the continued delivery of crucial ecosystem services, we must not only be able to understand but also skillfully manage the cumulative effects of human pressures. In addition, the consequences of multiple management measures need to be better understood and assessed in terms of cumulative effects. 

This session therefore welcomes contributions that:

  • Present methodologies developed and applied to assess cumulative effects
  • Explain and discuss the concepts of multiple pressure interaction (e.g. additive, synergistic, antagonistic)
  • Evaluate cumulative effects of multiple pressures or management measures on a case study basis
  • Focus on evidence-based management of multiple pressures, including the incorporation of uncertainty principals into the identification and assessment of cumulative effects.

Pressures of particular interest include nutrient enrichment, fishing, contamination, physical modification, and climate change but other ecologically relevant pressures can be addressed as well.

 The session will be relevant for marine environmental scientists and practitioners, in particular administrators and decision-makers implementing the MSFD nationally or regionally (OSPAR and HELCOM).


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​Islands Brygge, Copenhagen. Photo: Thomas Rousing – Wonderful Copenhagen.

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Theme Session J

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) · Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (CIEM)
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