Member State report / Art9 / 2012 / D8 / 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 D8 Contaminants
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
8.1 Concentration of contaminants
8.1.1 Concentration of contaminants
8.2 Effects of contaminants
8.2.1 Level of pollution effects
8.2.2 Occurrence and impact of acute pollution
8.2.2 Occurrence and impact of acute pollution
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
  • Irish Assesment Area
  • IntroHazSubstOther
GES description
Concentrations of contaminants in the marine environment (i.e. in water, sediment and biota) are within agreed levels and adverse effects on organisms, populations, communities and biological processes do not occur.
Threshold values
  • Irish Assesment Area = - Environmental Quality Standards (WFD). - Environmental Assessment Criteria as agreed by OSPAR.
Threshold value unit
Proportion of area to achieve threshold value
Not relevant
Reference point type
Background assessment concentrations/criteria as agreed by OSPAR. Not relevant for acute spills.
Assessment method
The following tools will be used to assess whether GES has been met: OSPAR Environmental Assessment Criteria (EACs): assessment tools intended to represent the contaminant concentration in the marine environment below which no chronic effects are expected to occur to marine species, including the most sensitive species (OSPAR, 2009). WFD Environmental Quality Standards (EQSs): standards applied within the WFD which are defined as the ‘concentration of a particular pollutant or group of pollutants in water, sediment or biota which should not be exceeded in order to protect human health and the environment’ (WFD Article 2 (35)).
Development status
Fully operational (in 2012)