Member State report / Art9 / 2012 / D7 / Ireland / NE Atlantic: Celtic Seas

Report type Member State report to Commission
MSFD Article Art. 9 Determination of GES (and Art. 17 updates)
Report due 2012-10-15
GES Descriptor D7 Hydrographical changes
Member State Ireland
Region/subregion NE Atlantic: Celtic Seas
Reported by Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government
Report date 15/04/2013
Report access ACSIE_MSFD9GES_20130415.xml
GES component
7.1 Spatial characterisation of permanent alterations
7.1.1 Extent of area affected
7.2 Impact of permanent hydrographical changes
7.2.1 Extent of habitats affected
7.2.2 Change in habitats
Method used
Ireland has utilised the information sharing facilitated by OSPAR on existing methodologies and future developments for determining GES and environmental targets and indicators. The non-binding OSPAR ‘Advice Documents’ use the benefit of OSPAR expertise to set out common approaches for expressing GES and potential methodologies for developing targets and indicators. The OSPAR countries implementing the MSFD have collectively analysed and shared their emerging GES determinations and associated targets and indicators through the creation of an inventory of emerging national proposals. For the biodiversity Descriptors (including 1, 2, 4 and 6) OSPAR countries are sharing expertise on common approaches. An intensive programme of work is still continuing to coordinate national approaches to biodiversity targets and indicators, including the ongoing development of a proposed set of common OSPAR biodiversity indicators for MSFD. Ireland has also participated in EU coordination through the EU CIS process.
Marine reporting units
  • Irish Assesment Area
  • Irish Assesment Area
  • Irish Assesment Area
  • Irish Assesment Area
  • Irish Assesment Area
  • Irish Assesment Area
  • AllFunctional
  • ChangeHydrology
  • ChangeSalinity
  • ChangeThermal
  • SeabedHabitatsAll
  • WaterColumnHabitatsAll
GES description
Good status is achieved when the nature and scale of any permanent changes (individual and cumulative) to the prevailing hydrographical conditions resulting from large-scale anthropogenic activities such as coastal defence works, damming of large rivers, land reclamation projects, and structures in open and coastal sea such as wind farms, ocean energy device arrays and large scale aquaculture facilities do not lead to significant long term impacts on marine ecosystems, in particular those biological components considered under Descriptors, 1, 4 and 6.
Threshold values
  • Irish Assesment Area = Qualitative description of GES covered above under Description of characteristics, therefore a threshold is not applicable.
Threshold value unit
Proportion of area to achieve threshold value
Not relevant
Reference point type
A qualitative description of GES characteristics has been defined, therefore a threshold is not applicable. A baseline/reference condition is also therefore not applicable in this case.
Assessment method
The assessment method for this Descriptor will be via the existing regulatory regimes in place in Ireland such as the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive (85/337/EEC), the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive (2001/42/EC), the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC: Article 6 assessments) and assessments undertaken for the purposes of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC), including where necessary the use of models to assess changes in the condition and extent of areas likely to be affected by the permanent alteration.
Development status
Further development needed (expected to be operational by 2014). Will depend on the development of sub-regional/regional consensus on what a suitable indicator consists of.