List of European and regional indicators

Indicators used in assessments across the European marine regions.

Click on the header to sort the table by column.

Source Name of indicator Type Theme Sub-theme MSFD Criteria
OSPAR Grey Seal Pup Production State Species Mammals
OSPAR Marine Bird Breeding Success or Failure State Species Birds
OSPAR Harbour Porpoise Bycatch Impact Extraction of species Incidental by-catch
OSPAR Trends in New Records of Non-Indigenous Species (NIS)
Introduced by Human Activities
Pressure Non-indigenous species Input of non-indigenous species
OSPAR Size Composition in Fish Communities State Species Fish
OSPAR Recovery in the Population Abundance of Sensitive Fish Species State Species Fish
OSPAR Winter Nutrient Concentrations in the Greater North Sea, Kattegat and Skagerrak Pressure Eutrophication Nutrient concentrations
OSPAR Concentrations of Chlorophyll-a in the Greater North Sea and Celtic Seas Impact Eutrophication Chlorophyll-a concentration
OSPAR Trends in Blooms of the Nuisance Phytoplankton Species Phaeocystis in Belgian, Dutch and German Waters Impact Eutrophication Phytoplankton blooms
OSPAR Concentrations of Dissolved Oxygen Near the Seafloor Impact Eutrophication Oxygen
OSPAR Extent of Physical Damage to Predominant and Special Habitats Impact Physical damage Extent of physical Damage
OSPAR Status and Trend for Heavy Metals (Mercury, Cadmium, and Lead) in Fish and Shellfish Pressure Contaminants Contaminants concentration
OSPAR Status and Trend for Heavy Metals (Cadmium, Mercury and Lead) in Sediment Pressure Contaminants Contaminants concentration
OSPAR Trends of Organotin in Sediments in the Southern North Sea Pressure Contaminants Contaminants concentration
OSPAR Status and Trends in the Concentrations of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Sediment Pressure Contaminants Contaminants concentration
OSPAR Status and Trends in the Concentrations of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Shellfish Pressure Contaminants Contaminants concentration
OSPAR Trends in Concentrations of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) in Sediments Pressure Contaminants Contaminants concentration
OSPAR Trends in Concentrations of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) in Fish and Shellfish Pressure Contaminants Contaminants concentration
OSPAR Status and Trends of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) in Fish and Shellfish Pressure Contaminants Contaminants concentration
OSPAR Status and Trends of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) in Sediment Pressure Contaminants Contaminants concentration
OSPAR Status and Trends in the Levels of Imposex in Marine Gastropods (TBT in Shellfish) Impact Contaminants Effects in organisms
OSPAR Beach Litter - Abundance, Composition and Trends Pressure Marine litter Beach litter
OSPAR Composition and Spatial Distribution of Litter on the Seafloor Pressure Marine litter Litter on the seafloor
OSPAR Distribution of Reported Impulsive Sounds Pressure Underwater noise Impulsive noise
OSPAR Nutrient Inputs to the Greater North Sea and the Bay of Biscay and Iberian Coast Pressure Eutrophication Input of nutrients
OSPAR Seal Abundance and Distribution State Species Mammals
OSPAR Abundance and Distribution of Coastal Bottlenose Dolphins State Species Mammals
OSPAR Abundance and Distribution of Cetaceans State Species Mammals
OSPAR Marine Bird Abundance State Species Birds
OSPAR Size Composition in Fish Communities State Ecosystem Fish
OSPAR Pilot Assessment of Mean Maximum Length of Fish State Species Fish
OSPAR Pilot assessment of Changes in Plankton Diversity State Ecosystem Plankton diversity
OSPAR Condition of Benthic Habitat Communities: the Common Conceptual Approach State Habitats Benthic habitats
OSPAR Proportion of Large Fish (Large Fish Index) State Ecosystem Fish
OSPAR Plastic Particles in Fulmar Stomachs in the North Sea) Pressure Marine litter Litter ingested
OSPAR Change in Average Trophic Level of Marine Predators in the Bay of Biscay State Ecosystem Predators
OSPAR Pilot Assessment of Production of Phytoplankton State Ecosystem Phytoplankton production
OSPAR Inputs of Mercury, Cadmium and Lead via Water and Air to the Greater North Sea Pressure Contaminants Input of contaminants
HELCOM Distribution of Baltic seals State Species Mammals D1C4
HELCOM Number of Drowned Mammals and Waterbirds in Fishing Gear Impact Extraction of species By-catch D1C1
HELCOM Commercial Fishing Impact Extraction of species Commercially exploited fish D3C1
HELCOM Trends in arrival of New Non-Indigenous Species Pressure Non-indigenous species Input of non-indigenous species D2C1
HELCOM Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen (DIN) Pressure Eutrophication Nutrient concentrations D5C1
HELCOM Dissolved inorganic phosphorous (DIP) Pressure Eutrophication Nutrient concentrations D5C1
HELCOM Chlorophyll-a Impact Eutrophication Chlorophyll-a concentration D5C2
HELCOM Water Clarity Impact Eutrophication Transparency D5C4
HELCOM Oxygen Debt Impact Eutrophication Oxygen D5C5
HELCOM State of the Soft-Bottom Macrofauna Community  State Habitats Macrofauna communities D5C8
HELCOM Tributyltin (TBT) and Imposex Impact Contaminants Effects in organisms D8C1
HELCOM Abundance of Waterbirds in the Breeding Season  State Species Birds D1C2
HELCOM Abundance of Waterbirds in the Wintering Season State Species Birds D1C2
HELCOM Abundance of Salmon Spawners and Smolt  State Species Fish D1C2
HELCOM Abundance of Sea Trout Spawners and Parr State Species Fish D1C2
HELCOM Abundance of Key Coastal Fish Species State Species Fish D1C2
HELCOM Population trends and abundance of seals* State Species Mammals D1C2
HELCOM Nutritional status of seals* State Species Mammals DIC3
HELCOM Reproductive status of seals* State Species Mammals D1C3
HELCOM Proportion of Large Fish in the Community  State Ecosystem Fish D4C3
HELCOM Abundance of Coastal Fish Key Functional Groups State Ecosystem Fish D4C2
HELCOM Zooplankton mean size and total stock (MSTS) State Ecosystem Zooplankton D4C3
HELCOM Metals (lead, cadmium and mercury)  Pressure Contaminants Contaminants concentration D8C1
HELCOM Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) and
Their Metabolites 
Pressure Contaminants Contaminants concentration D8C1
HELCOM PCB, Dioxin and Furan Pressure Contaminants Contaminants concentration D8C1
HELCOM Hexabromocyclodocecane (HBCDD) Pressure Contaminants Contaminants concentration D8C1
HELCOM Perfluorooctane sulphonate (PFOS) Pressure Contaminants Contaminants concentration D8C1
HELCOM Polybrominated diphenyl Ethers (PBDE)  Pressure Contaminants Contaminants concentration D8C1
HELCOM Radioactive substances:
Cesium-137 in fish and surface seawater
Pressure Contaminants Radionucleids D8C1
HELCOM Cyanobacteria bloom index (CyaBI) Impact Eutrophication Phytoplankton blooms D5C3
HELCOM Input of Nitrogen and Phosphorus to the Baltic Sea (2012-2014) Pressure Eutrophication Input of nutrients D5C2
HELCOM Operational Oil Spills from Ships  Pressure Contaminants Input of contaminants D8C3
HELCOM Total nitrogen (TN) Pressure Eutrophication Nutrient concentrations D5C1
HELCOM Total phosphorus (TP) Pressure Eutrophication Nutrient concentrations D5C1
HELCOM Reproductive Disorders: Malformed Embryos of
Amphipods 
Impact Contaminants Effects in organisms D8C2
HELCOM White tailed eagle productivity* Impact Contaminants Effects in organisms D8C2
UNEP/MAP Concentration of key nutrients in water column Pressure Eutrophication Nutrient concentrations D5C1
UNEP/MAP Chlorophyll-a concentration in water column Pressure Eutrophication Chlorophyll-a concentration D5C2
UNEP/MAP Concentration of key harmful contaminants measured in the relevant matrix Pressure Contaminants Contaminants concentration D8C1
UNEP/MAP Level of pollution effects of key contaminants where a cause and effect relationship has been established Impact Contaminants Effects in organisms D8C2
UNEP/MAP Occurrence, origin (where possible), extent of acute pollution events, and their impact on biota affected by this pollution Impact Contaminants Input of contaminants D8C3; D8C4
UNEP/MAP Actual levels of contaminants that have been detected and number of contaminants which have exceeded maximum regulatory levels in commonly consumed seafood Impact Contaminants Contaminants concentration D9C1
UNEP/MAP Percentage of intestinal enterococci concentration measurements within established standards Pressure Contaminants Microbial pathogens
UNEP/MAP Trends in the amount of litter washed ashore and/or deposited on coastlines (including analysis of its composition, spatial distribution and, where possible, source) Pressure Marine litter Beach litter D10C1
UNEP/MAP Trends in the amount of litter in the water column including microplastics and on the seafloor Pressure Marine litter Litter in the water column D10C1
UNEP/MAP Habitat distributional range & Condition of the habitat’s typical species and communities State Habitats Benthic habitats D6C4; D6C5
UNEP/MAP Species distributional range - Marine Mammals State Species Mammals D1C4
UNEP/MAP Species distributional range - Seabirds State Species Seabirds D1C4
UNEP/MAP Species distributional range - Marine Turtles State Species Reptiles D1C4
UNEP/MAP Population abundance of selected species - Seabirds State Species Seabirds D1C2
UNEP/MAP Population abundance of selected species - Marine Mammals State Species Mammals D1C2
UNEP/MAP Population abundance of selected species - Marine Reptiles State Species Reptiles D1C2
UNEP/MAP Population demographic characteristics - Seabirds State Species Seabirds D1C3
UNEP/MAP Population demographic characteristics - Marine Mammals State Species Mammals D1C3
UNEP/MAP Population demographic characteristics - Marine Reptiles State Species Reptiles D1C3
UNEP/MAP Trends in abundance, temporal occurrence, and spatial distribution of non-indigenous species, particularly invasive, non-indigenous species,notably in risk areas,in relation to the main vectors and pathways of spreading of such species Impact Non-indigenous species Established NIS D2C2
UNEP/MAP Spawning stock Biomass Impact Extraction of species Commercially exploited fish D3C2
UNEP/MAP Total landings Impact Extraction of species Commercially exploited fish
UNEP/MAP Fishing Mortality Impact Extraction of species Commercially exploited fish D3C1
UNEP/MAP Location and extent of the habitats impacted directly by hydrographic alterations Impact Hydrographical conditions Permanent alterations D7C2
UNEP/MAP Length of coastline subject to physical disturbance due to the influence of manmade structures Impact Physical disturbance Coastline
EEA Marine protected areas in Europe's seas Response Marine Protected Areas Coverage
EEA Pathways of introduction of marine non-indigenous species Pressure Non-indigenous species Input of non-indigenous species D2C1
EEA Trends in marine non-indigenous species Pressure Non-indigenous species Input of non-indigenous species D2C1
EEA Aquaculture production Activity Cultivation of species Aquaculture
EEA Fishing fleet pressure Pressure Extraction of species Commercially exploited fish
EEA Status of marine fish stocks State Extraction of species Commercially exploited fish D3C1; D3C2
EEA Chlorophyll in transitional, coastal and marine waters State Eutrophication Chlorophyll-a concentration D5C2
EEA Nutrients in transitional, coastal and marine waters State Eutrophication Nutrient concentrations D5C1
EEA Hazardous substances in marine organisms Pressure Contaminants Contaminants concentration D8C1
EEA Global and European sea level State Climate change Sea level
EEA Sea surface temperature State Climate change Sea temperature
EEA Ocean oxygen content State Climate change Oxygen content
EEA Distribution shifts of marine species State Climate change Species distribution
EEA Ocean acidification State Climate change Acidification
EEA Ocean heat content State Climate change Heat content
EEA Arctic and Baltic sea ice State Climate change Sea ice

 * Will be published in 2018

Links to MSFD criteria for OSPAR indicators will become available during 2018

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