Use Cases

EMODnet Seabed Habitat products continues to grow in recognition within the wider community, aiding the delivery of a number of project across various themes.

EUSeaMap products, for example, have been used for assessing and reporting the status of European seas, designing ecological coherent  MPA networks, for regional mapping of ecosystem services and informing marine planning. 

For a review of how Broad-Scale Seabed Habitats Maps (BSHM) in Europe, such as EUSeaMap, helped support the implementation of Ecosystem-Based Management, and in particular Marine Strategy Framework Directive and Habitats Directive assessments, see Andersen et al. 2018.

Read more below for examples on the application of our products:

  • Use Case 1 – “Applying modelled broad scale habitat maps in MPA network evaluations - the western Mediterranean Sea case study”


    Outcomes: Spatial analysis of habitat coverage within the North-West Mediterranean MPA network highlighted that various bathyal and abyssal designations did not meet their respective 2015 targets, set by the EU Habitats Directive.

    How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: Having mapping data readily available for download, users could save time and resources on collecting the information themselves, and begin conducting their analysis at a much earlier stage.

    Who used it:

    ISPRAItalian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research EEA – European Environment Agency

    When was it used: 2017

    What product was used: EMODnet broad-scale habitat maps for the entire Western Mediterranean Sea

    How was the product used: Combining the EU MPA network datasets with the downloaded EMODnet broad-scale habitat maps allowed users to analyse coverage over time, and compare this against EU and International targets.


    Read more here

  • Use Case 2 – “Contribution of EUSeaMap towards evaluating the ecological status of the marine environment”


    Outcomes: Users identified the main areas where disturbance from bottom-contact fishing was predicted to cause the most significant impact to benthic marine habitats. This work fed directly into the OSPAR Intermediate Assessment (2017) with future implications towards the Marine Strategy Framework Directive assessments.

     How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: As well as saving time and resources on data collection, the supply of confidence maps enabled users to provide more detailed and transparent predictions to their deliverables. 

    OSPAR intermediate assessment 2017 output: seabed Disturbance

    Spatial distribution of aggregated disturbance from bottom-contact fishing using the 2010–2015 data series across OSPAR sub-regions (from OSPAR Assessment portal)

    Who used it:

    OSPAROslo/Paris Convention (for the protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic)

    When was it used: 2017

    What product was used: Habitat maps from survey in the North East Atlantic, EMODnet broad-scale habitat maps (EUSeaMap 2016) and EUSeMap 2016 confidence map

    How was the product used: EMODnet Seabed Habitatmaps were used in conjunction with the user’s data on fishing pressures and habitat sensitivity to produce an overall disturbance map of the North East Atlantic.


    Read more in the OSPAR Assessment portal


  • Use Case 3 – “EUSeaMap in supporting implementation of transboundary Maritime Spatial Planning in the Celtic Sea”


    Outcomes: Authors identified EMODNet’s broad-scale habitat maps as the best data source to represent marine benthic marine habitats in the Celtic Sea, with potential to support the implementation of a Maritime Spatial plan, as part of EU Directive 2014/89/EU.

    How EMODnet Seabed Habitats helped the user: Data are easily accessible and in a standardised format (INSPIRE compliant) which would allow for any transboundary or transnational implementation.

    Who used it:

    SIMCeltSupporting Implementation for Maritime Spatial Planning in the Celtic Seas

    When was it used: 2017

    What product was used: EUSeaMap2 (2016) Broad-Scale Predictive Habitat Map

    How was the product used: Users compiled an inventory of available datasets that could be readily used for a proposed Maritime Spatial Plan in the Celtic Sea, as part of a two-year €1.8 million project.


    Read more here